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Agri 2022

Climate resilient water management approaches in the Mediterranean agriculture

Burcu Yazici

Burcu Yazici, Speaker at Agriculture Conference
Turkish Water Institute, Turkey
Title : Climate resilient water management approaches in the Mediterranean agriculture


Mediterranean region is highly dependent on irrigated agriculture, but in contrast, it’s also among the most water-scarce regions. One of the main challenges faced in Mediterranean agriculture is excess irrigation which puts immense stress on water resources. Mediterranean agriculture could save up half of the water used in irrigation, if crops’ water requirements are thoroughly studied, agricultural infrastructures are improved, and reclaimed water use becomes a practice. To tackle these challenges and minimize negative impacts of climate change, a well-developed and fully-integrated decision support platform is necessary.

WATERMED platform employs smart tools/sensors and GIS to continually monitor water, soil and weather status levels to avoid over abstraction, and aims to provide replicable solutions through the implementation of three case studies in Algeria, Spain and Turkey. All case study areas are dependent on scarce groundwater resources, therefore, overexploitation and consequently, salinity are the major problems. The Algerian case study also deploys agrivoltaic systems to reduce irrigation needs through shading, and produce electricity simultaneously, which could provide advantages especially in remote areas. The Turkish case study, on the other hand, focuses on suitability/feasibility of using reclaimed water in agriculture, conducting tests on root/herbaceous crops. 

WATERMED platform adopts an integrative approach by taking into account not only water demands of agriculture, but also considers environmental and socio-economic aspects, in order to offer sustainable agricultural solutions with minimum water and fertilizer use, but still with enhanced product yields. Incorporating smart agriculture tools for online monitoring along with the framework/indicators of OECD’s water governance principles as a digital tool, the platform assesses all interdependent parameters together. Hence, the open platform provided by WATERMED will create an opportunity for the best agricultural and irrigation practices to be implemented in semi-arid/water scarce regions all around the globe.


Burcu Yazici is an environmental engineer and works as a water resources management specialist at Turkish Water Institute (SUEN) for the past ten years. Her research areas mainly focus on agricultural water pollution, water quality management and water reuse.

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