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Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2271; doi:10.3390/su9122271

Integral Management of Irrigation Water in Intensive Horticultural Systems of Almería

1
Agronomy Department of Superior School Engineering, University of Almería, Agrifood Campus of International Excellence ceiA3. Ctra. Sacramento s/n, La Cañada de San Urbano, 04120 Almería, Spain
2
Institute of Research and Training in Agriculture and Fishery (IFAPA), Junta of Andalucia, La Mojonera, Almería 04630, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 30 October 2017 / Revised: 1 December 2017 / Accepted: 1 December 2017 / Published: 7 December 2017
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Abstract

The development of intensive horticulture in Almería, with a huge increase in greenhouse surface area, is related to three essential factors: climatic characteristics, groundwater use and mulching sandy soil. The purpose of the present paper is to draw a picture of the integral management of water irrigation in the intensive horticultural systems in the region, by identifying the most significant water resource contributions and alternative water resources. Results indicate that the use of groundwater for the irrigation of horticultural crops in the greenhouses presents a high degree of overexploitation of the aquifers, but due to the continuous search for alternative water resources, such as desalinated and reclaimed water, as well as in-depth knowledge of the integral management of water irrigation through automated fertigation and localized irrigation systems, the current status of the water resources could be sustainable. Moreover, being conscious of the pollution generated by agricultural leachates, the horticultural system of Almería is implementing complementary sustainable systems such as recirculation, cascade cropping systems and phytodepuration for the reuse of the leachate. Considering all these factors, it can be concluded that the intensive horticultural system is on the right path towards respecting the environment and being sustainable in terms of water use. View Full-Text
Keywords: cascade cropping system; desalinated water; phytodepuration; recirculation; reclaimed water; sustainability; water resources cascade cropping system; desalinated water; phytodepuration; recirculation; reclaimed water; sustainability; water resources
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Garcia-Caparros, P.; Contreras, J.I.; Baeza, R.; Segura, M.L.; Lao, M.T. Integral Management of Irrigation Water in Intensive Horticultural Systems of Almería. Sustainability 2017, 9, 2271.

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