In order to openly demonstrate the value propositions of the DIANA service platform to the wider user community as well as test and validate its acceptance as a marketable solution, a total of 3 pilots within real-life daily settings will be set up and run by the consortium in 3 European countries, namely “La Mancha region and Andalucía” (Spain), “Campania region” (Italy) and Banat region (Romania). Their implementation will be realised through the direct participation of 3 authorities responsible for irrigation water management as well as 6 SMEs, all of which are members of the DIANA consortium.
All pilots will be integrated with the work flows of the users and their results will be co-evaluated and validated with them, fostering the acceptance of DIANA as a marketable solution.
The reliability, accuracy, consistency and completeness of our data products will be assessed via uncertainty/error propagation techniques, whereas the co-evaluation of our services in terms of achieving the objectives of our users will be performed based on a suite of carefully selected Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and results and experiences stemming from the implementation of the pilots. The KPIs will be co-defined in consultation with our users and focus on core themes such as usability, accessibility, interoperability, reliability, satisfaction levels. They will be complemented with qualitative data gathered through group interviews with pilot participants aimed at drawing meaningful conclusions from actual events and changes that DIANA has brought about their operations.
Partners AgriSat and Feragua will be responsible for the implementation of the DIANA pilot in two regions of Spain namely, La Mancha region and Andalucía. AgriSat is an SME with a great experience in leading-edge technology for decision support tools in operational irrigation and farm management in a wide range of environments as well as in the development of a range of holistic and innovative participatory validation approaches. The company currently serves users from individual farm to national level. Feragua is the association of irrigation water user’s association from the region of Andalucía. The pilot in La Mancha region will take place in selected farmlands irrigated by the La-Mancha Oriental Aquifer Management Board, an area of 100,000 ha containing large farm holdings. The pilot case in Andalucía will be focused in the Middle Guadalquivir Valley and will cover an area of approximately 12,000 ha of irrigated land. The dominant crops are oranges, olives, maize, cereals, cotton, tomato and vegetables whereas the irrigation methods used are drip and sprinkler. The water metering method that is currently used in the pilot case is individual farm metering while payment is charged per volume and per irrigated surface.
In this context, it is important to note that the consortium has received a Letter of Support from the Deputy Directorate General for water planning and sustainable water use of the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture. In the letter the Ministry expresses clearly its interest and support to the DIANA project along with its commitment to support the development and follow-up of the Spanish pilot case as well as its intention to disseminate DIANA project results to the river management authorities of Spain and other interested stakeholders. The letter is attached at the end of the current proposal.
The pilot in Italy will take place in the North-Western part of Campania Region (South – Italy) in the Volturno river plan with an extension of 1950 sKm within the boundary of SANNIO ALIFANO. It is one of the largest agricultural area in the Campania Region. The irrigable area of about 20,000 hectares, served by a collective irrigation system supplied with water from the Volturno, Lete and Grassano rivers. The main irrigated crops are maize, alfalfa, fruit trees and vegetable crops. The average size of parcels is about 2 hectares. ARIESPACE, a SME with over 10 years of experience in the field of Remote Sensing and Geo-information solutions will support the implementation of the Italian pilot. The area within the authority of SANNIO ALIFANO has been supported with commercial services by ARIESPACE in the past and represents an ideal testbed for DIANA services.
The pilot area in Romania is located the Banat region, in the southwestern part of the country, between 20°18’ and 22°52’ East and between 44°26’ and 46°08’ North. The total surface of the Banat region is around 18400 km2 and represents about 8% of Romania’s area. Its boundaries are the Mures river in the north, the confluence between the Danube and Cerna rivers in the south, the Romanian -Serbian border in the west and the Jiu river basin in the east. The hydrographic network consists of 389 watercourses, with a total length of 6705 km (excepting the Danube stretch which delimitates the Banat region and totals 145 km), having an average density of 0.36 km/km2, a value that is very close to the national average density. The infrastructure for the quantitative water monitoring of the Banat region consists of 80 hydrometric stations and 351 observation drills. The irrigable area is about 9670 hectares and is served by a collective irrigation system supplied with water from the Bega, Mures and Ier rivers. ROSA and NARW will support the implementation of the Romanian pilot.