07 maig Farmers in the Algars River basin concerned for the lack of precipitation
Last April 10-12, 2019, Dídac Jordà-Capdevila went to the Algars River basin for gathering data about water and agricultural management. He interviewed 15 people, most of them farmers but also agricultural technicians, and ask questions related to the different activities associated to the land management: sowing, tillage, fertilization, pesticides application, irrigation and harvesting; for vineyards, olive, almond and forage crops. Results are very varied. Some farmers use organic manure; others chemical fertilizers. Some farmers use a lot of different type of pesticides; others produce organic food..
Regarding the social aspects grasped during the field trip, the main worry of farmers is the decrease of precipitation in the region. They recognized to have had bad experiences as well due to irregular hailstorms and frosts out of the season, bringing to a frequent loss of the almond yield. Moreover, the crops that depend the most on the river are becoming abandoned and the owners only rely on the construction of a reservoir to give continuity to those fields. Finally, the farmers working on rainfed agriculture are worried about a possible future with abandoned fields, a loss of the landscape value and the increase risk of fires. A good solution to them would be to bring water from the Ebro River to support their corps with a drip irrigation system.
Typical plots of almond trees and vineyards in the Algars River basin, supported by a drip irrigation system.
Visiting an off-channel reservoir similar to the one planned for the Algars River basin, for collecting water during peak flows and increase the water reserve for drinking and irrigation purposes.