Water and energy in Mediterranean rural environments: The nexus in irrigated agriculture
Secretariat Iamz. cheam. (12/5/2018). Water and energy in Mediterranean rural environments: The nexus in irrigated agriculture. Spain: IAMZ-CIHEAM Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Zaragoza.
Mediterranean rural environments are at the crossroads of the water-energy nexus. On one hand, the region offers great scope for the generation of renewable energy, given the intensity of solar radiation, wind speed and water flows. At the same time, pressurized irrigation is leading to sharp increases in energy demand. A paradigmatic example is modernization from surface to sprinkler/micro irrigation. Whilst major investments have targeted improving water efficiency, irrigation control and automation, this has led to a much greater dependence on energy, with significant implications for rural development, economic growth and sustainability. In many parts of the Mediterranean region, water and energy availability are key societal concerns. Innovative solutions in both technology and policy are thus needed to ensure future water, energy and food security. Renewable energies, micro grids and alternate sources of water offer new opportunities for tackling the trade-offs between water and energy use in agriculture.