Guadalquivir Marshes (Spain)
The case study 3 led by TEPRO takes place in the Lower Guadalquivir Valley. The area comprises 200,000 has of marshes located next to the estuary of the Guadalquivir River and between the river and Doñana National Park (UNESCO Biosphere Reserve).
Rice production is traditional in the region with over 36,500 ha dedicated to its production. The traditional irrigation method is flooding, done by a complex system of irrigation and drainage channels that help to recirculate water from different plots and different irrigators communities.
The field experiments of the Case Study are conducted at two commercial farms managed by TEPRO; both located on the right bank of the Guadalquivir River. Farm Desmaisieres, in Isla Mayor, where TEPRO manages around 300 hectares of rice, has been devoted to the Case Study during the rice campaign 2019 undertaking 3 irrigation strategies and 1 control plot. The water for the plots involved is supplied by the Irrigators Community of Mínima. On the other hand, Farm Rubiales, located in La Puebla del Río, hosted a small pilot for rice under drip irrigation, and water is supplied by the Casa Reales River, from the Irrigators Community of Puebla.
TEPRO’s aim with this project is to test different strategies for reducing the amount of water used without harming the high yields obtained with the traditional irrigation method within the Guadalquivir marshes.
In this sense, TEPRO’s case study has implemented 5 different irrigation strategies:
- CONTROL – usual flooding irrigation,
- LDP-RT3 – longer drying periods and inflow/outflow reduction treatment (30%),
- RT1 – Inflow/outflow Reduction Treatment 1; 26% reduction in water inflow/outflow during the whole crop cycle
- RT2 – Inflow/outflow Reduction Treatment 2; 14% reduction in water inflow/outflow during the whole crop cycle + 22% reduction in water inflow/outflow from day 100 after sowing)
- DRIP – Surface drip irrigation.
Farm 1: Finca Desmaisieres is located in Isla Mayor (Seville) and is a traditional rice cultivated farm within the Guadalquivir marshes, placed at the right side of the Guadalquivir River. This farm has a total area of 23.8 hectares. The farm is divided into 4 plots. The whole farm has been devoted to the Case Study during the rice campaign 2019 undertaking 3 irrigation strategies and 1 control plot.
Farm 2: Finca Rubiales is located in Puebla del Río (Seville). This farm has a total area of 223 hectares, of which 182.70ha are dedicated to rice under traditional flooded production, 18.97ha dedicated to citrus, 20.99ha dedicated to barley and 0.34ha dedicated to traditional fallow land. In this farm, a pilot for rice with surface drip irrigation was conducted in a small area of 0.4 hectares where the previous year was devoted to barley production and was never devoted to rice production.