The Global Water Day is celebrated on the 22nd of march every year and its principal objective, is to create awareness of the importance of looking after the so called liquid gold for the life of human beings and all the species of this Earth. Something that Spanish agriculture and more specifically the horticulture of the greenhouses of Almería has been raising awareness of, every day of every month and campaign after campaign, while promoting the maximum efficiency of irrigation.
Proof of that is that, since 2020 farmers are able to access the “water sustainability and efficient H3 irrigation” certification through demonstrating to consumers that the product that they are consuming has successfully achieved all the necessary requirements to achieve efficient and sustainable irrigation. Thus, consumers can now know and demand the maximum water efficiency of the foods they consume.
The H3 stamp boasts a methodology that is backed by a 3 year investigation project, that directly supports the efficiency of the irrigation. It involves a procedure of an objective calculation, auditable and comparable, that quantifies the direct and indirect use of sweet water for the production of each kilogram of product, in other words, the water footprint. Through this process you can compare the water efficiency of different farmers of the same product.
The H3 certification helps the farmer add more value to their cultivations and therefore to their products, as it is that of certified water efficiency, applying the sustainable use of water well before it becomes (and it will be soon) a requirement, called for in the agricultural politics of the European Union.
All of this puts into context the problem with water resources on the planet, since the volume of water on Earth is relatively fixed (finite). However, the population keeps growing, consuming more and requiring more water to sustain the demand of foods, products and services. The possible solutions currently available such as transfers, desalination and purification are complementary and necessary steps, as is the application of more environmentally and economically sustainable technological solutions, such as the optimization of irrigation systems.
The team of the H3 certification
The process to achieve this certification has been a team effort in which they have been involved since the company who contributed the technology and the training in this irrigation methodology (Wise Irrisystem) and who has supervised the whole process and certification protocol (Project Ingenio) and who has been finally responsible for auditing and granting the official certificate (Agrocolor).
The origin of everything was in 2018 when the Operative Group H3 formed by companies and associations like COEXPHAL, Caparrós Nature S.L., Wise Irrisystem S.L., Universidad de Almería y Proyecta Ingenio S.L. whose objective was to guarantee that the producer is performing an excellent management of the irrigation needs of the crops. And by 2020, it already had the first farmer to obtain the first H3 certification, which guarantees the efficient irrigation of his farm.