• Development and use of modern software tools and open access data for sustainable water management

    The use of open source software and programming languages in combination with open access data enables the efficient generation of information to help stakeholders to act for sustainable water management. Big data for water management has arrived...

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  • Water footprint: a key indicator to help public policy on water, agriculture and innovative catchment management.

    We executed the water footprint of all productive sectors in all river basins in Colombia to support water policy and water action. The work stimulates the development of water funds, Investments in water efficient and climate proof agriculture and water stewardship.

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  • We empower people and organisations to use their watersheds in a more sustainable way

    Our WATERDATA4ACTION approach engages stakeholders in sustainable watershed management on the basis of open access to fully understandable data and information.

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  • We help farmers use less water, be more productive and more sustainable!

    Using our cost efficent water footprint software and our deep knowledge and expertise in farming and water, we support farmers to use water better and at the same time increase farm productivity and be more water sustainable.

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We supported AWS implementation at Iberesparragal citrus farm in Spain, first AWS gold certification in Europe

Water Stewardship in practice

BLUE-THUMB-UP: a free webtool to help farmers improve their water use, yields and sustainability.

Launching BLUE-THUMB-UP

GAWFC is a software tool that calculates green and blue water footprints of crops at multiple geographic locations

Geographic Agricultural Water Footprint Calculator - GAWFC

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We collaborated with Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation for estimating blue water productivities for three cotton farms in Tajikistan using the Geographic Agricultural Water Footprint Calculator GAWFC. We did this for two soil water retention capacity scenarios. We found out that the crop suffers water stress especially during the months of July and August, which are the hottest months. However, crop water stress is alleviated for the bigger soil water retention capacity, indicating that efforts to increase the water retention capacity of the soil are very relevant for these farms, ultimately helping to increase yields.

 

 

We collaborated with Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation for estimating blue water productivities for three cotton farms in Tajikistan using the Geographic Agricultural Water Footprint Calculator GAWFC. We did this for two soil water retention capacity scenarios. We found out that the crop suffers water stress especially during the months of July and August, which are the hottest months. However, crop water stress is alleviated for the bigger soil water retention capacity, indicating that efforts to increase the water retention capacity of the soil are very relevant for these farms, ultimately helping to increase yields.

By simulating the soil water balance during the entire crop season and taking into account the real irrigation data provided, it was possible to identify which irrigation pattern helped minimizing water stress during July and August. GAWFC identified the farm with the highest productivity and supported an in-depth analysis of the link between irrigation patterns and productivities for all farms. Managing irrigation wisely during the months of July and August can make an important difference in productivity. These results point towards engaging at the irrigation association and watershed level to search for longer-term solutions for a more efficient irrigation water distribution and management, more in line with crop and soil water needs.

The discussion workshop on GAWFC results with Helvetas provided pointers on priority data which need to be collected for assessment of crop blue water productivity: soil texture per farm, organic matter content, daily precipitation and climatic data, as well as crop coefficients for special cotton varieties or special agricultural interventions. Also, for assessing blue water productivity scenarios, it is fundamental to count on better estimations of potential yields expected after farming interventions.

The combination of GAWFC simulations, simple data collection at the farm level for validation, and assumptions made in consensus, offers a cost-effective and robust solution for assessing blue water productivities at large scale.

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