Azienda Agricola Poeta Otello

Rainwater harvesting

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Azienda Agricola Poeta Otello

Case Study Contents

About Farm

Farm Name

Azienda Agricola Poeta Otello

Year of foundation

1981

Location

Toscana, Livorno Province, Venturina Municipality

Farm area/size of the organisation:

Medium (20-100 ha)

Number of workers:

5 – 20

Farm main activity:

General field crops

Climate and soil characteristics

Mediterranean climate, clay soils
IT05_01

Measure Information

Description of the measure

Rainwater harvesting from rooftop of greenhouses, blending of rainwater with groundwater since groundwater is contaminated by Boron. Gravity-led flow.

Objective of the measure

Obtaining water of a better quality for irrigation (leaching Boron in the soil)

Justification of the choice

Greenhouses are needed also to avoid water ponding in clayey soils

Where did You get information of the measure from?

The introduction of the measure was conceived after the first tests of water quality including micro-elements.

Description of the situation before the measure implementation

Low crop yield, especially in summer, due to Boron contamination

Implementation phase

Description of the survey done for the implementation

Nothing specific, just planning the water greenhouse collection. 3 ha of greenhouses with a single reservoir of 7500 cubic meters

Materials used

Need of using hot-dip galvanized steel gutter

Costs for the implementation

Around 20,000 euros

Implementation / building

Reservoir build by machine excavation

Required maintenance operations

Standard maintenance for a reservoir (check the status of the PVC / plastic film)

Impacts

Great improvement in crop production and quality and increased profits. The methodology allowed to crop various type of cash crop also in the summer.
Reduced impact on groundwater
Increased groundwater availability for other uses

Innovation

Innovation elements

Testing of micro-elements (water quality)

Key element for success

Good quality and resistance of the PVC / plastic film

Constraints

Physical constraints

  • Variability in rainwater.
  • Need of installing a PVC / plastic film resistant to sunlight in the reservoirs.

Technological constraints

Difficult to build new greenhouses due to institutional permissions needed

Lesson learned

Farmers’ experiences

“Water quality is key for crop growth, regardless of the fertilization applied. Water quality can totally inhibit crop growth”

Measure sustainability

Environmental sustainability

The use of the non-conventional water allows reducing the pressure on groundwater.

Economical sustainability

Transfer of the measure

Replicability conditions required

  • Need of availability of land for greenhouses.
  • Need of a stable water source together with rainwater (e.g. a well with at least 300-400 l/min).

Conclusion remarks

Open problems

Boron concentration is increasing due to groundwater depletion

AGRIWATER project has been funded with the support from the European Commission, with the reference number 2020-1-CZ01-KA204-078212. The content of this website reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

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