LIFE H2OLOCK project kicked off the 13th of September in the municipality of Lorca (Murcia), hosted by Community Irrigation Lorca, partner in the consortium.
This demonstration project aims to validate a novel concept for sustainable water management in agricultural water reservoirs with the final goal of preserving fresh water maintaining its quality (e.g by preventing algae growth) while producing renewable energy in agricultural water reservoirs (AWR). The solution designed will consist of a combination of modular floating covers with floating self-ballast blankets. Moreover, the photovoltaic flexible solar cells will be implemented on top of the blankets for renewable energy generation.
The implementation of the solution is expected to reduce water evaporation in AWR up to 80-85%. Moreover, it will contribute to achieving energetically energy self-sufficient agricultural irrigation exploitations with the energy generated by the PV cells integrated on the AWR covers.
During the Kick off meeting, the consortium visited the previous installations of the solutions in smaller ponds. The consortium first visited a pond with a Modular floating covers, then, the pond with the PV installations, and thirdly a pond with the floating blankets. The final visit took place in the target demo site in Lorca. The demo site is a pond, which is owned by CRL, with a surface of 27,000 m2, and it is a regulated pond that distributes the water to the farmers of the association for horticulture. Next to this demo site, the manufacturing facilities of ARANA were visited. ARANA showed the actual production line of both the floating modules and the blankets.
The consortium of H2OLOCK is coordinated by the engineering ARADA INGENIERIA. One of the partners of the consortium is ARANA WATER MANAGEMENT, an innovative SME which owns the patent of the modular floating solutions. The demo sites will be provided by two irrigation associations, which will be partners in the consortium and first adopters of the technology, one in Spain, Community Irrigation Lorca and another in Portugal, the Association of Wine Growers of the Municipality of Palmela. Moreover, the consortium is complemented with the research centre Technological Centre CTC (CTC) in Cantabria (ES), which will work with ARANA and ARADA in the design of the technology and its integration in the ponds and the SME, Global Factor International Consulting which will work on the sustainability and environmental assessment of the solution.