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Open AccessArticle

Adaptation of a Traditional Irrigation System of Micro-Plots to Smart Agri Development: A Case Study in Murcia (Spain)

1
Engineering Department, Miguel Hernández University of Elche, 03312 Orihuela, Spain
2
Structures, Construction and Graphic Expression Department, Universidad Politécnica of Cartagena, 30202 Cartagena, Spain
3
Hidroconta S.A, I+D+I Company, 30012 Murcia, Spain
4
Agromotic Engineering and the Sea R+D+i Research Group, Universidad Politécnica of Cartagena, 30202 Cartagena, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Agronomy 2020, 10(9), 1365; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10091365
Received: 16 July 2020 / Revised: 4 September 2020 / Accepted: 7 September 2020 / Published: 10 September 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Footprint of Crop Productions)
Currently, water users associations (WUAs) in semi-arid areas of southeastern Spain (Murcia region) send a multitude of data supplied by sensors in the field to the cloud. The constant technological revolution offers opportunities for small farms not to be abandoned, thanks to the Internet of Things (IoT). This technology allows them to continue to manage remotely using smartphones/tablets/laptops. This new system contributes to the mitigation of climate change from several aspects: reduction of water footprint and energy consumption (in the pumps that pressurize the grid, such as in the optimization of the proposed solution, by using batteries that communicate in low radiation of electric and magnetic alternating fields (LoRad), General Packet Radio Service (GPRS), or narrowband IoT (NB-IoT), or clean energy). The analysis of these data and the incorporation of new IoT technologies facilitate the maintenance of green roofs and ensure the continuity of these farms. The direct benefit obtained is remarkable CO2 removal that prevents desertification by the abandonment of arable land. This communication shows the implementation of a Smart Agri system in areas with micro-plots (surface less than 0.5 ha) with low-cost technology based on long-range (LoRa) systems, easily maintainable by personnel with basic knowledge of automation, which transforms into a very interesting solution for regions with development roads. In addition, complex orography and difficult access are added in both physical and technological environments. The main technical limitations found in such plots are poor coverage for mobile phones and unworkable and expensive implementation by wiring or WiFi/radio systems. Currently, thanks to the Smart Agri system implemented in this WUA in Murcia, farmers can manage and control the irrigation systems in their plots from home. Then, they cannot lose their crops and respect the isolation conditions imposed by the Spanish government as a result of the alarm caused by COVID-19. View Full-Text
Keywords: carbon footprint; water footprint; LoRa; IoT; desertification; COVID-19 carbon footprint; water footprint; LoRa; IoT; desertification; COVID-19
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MDPI and ACS Style

Chazarra-Zapata, J.; Parras-Burgos, D.; Arteaga, C.; Ruiz-Canales, A.; Molina-Martínez, J.M. Adaptation of a Traditional Irrigation System of Micro-Plots to Smart Agri Development: A Case Study in Murcia (Spain). Agronomy 2020, 10, 1365.

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