The role of information and communication technologies in the modernisation of water user associations' management
Computers and Electronics in Agriculture
- Volumen: 98
- Fecha: 01 January 2013
- Páginas: 121-130
- ISSN: 01681699
- Source Type: Journal
- DOI: 10.1016/j.compag.2013.08.005
- Document Type: Article
- Publisher: Elsevier B.V.
Efficient and transparent water management in collective irrigation districts is the principal commitment of Water User Associations (WUAs), which manage 70% of the available water resources in Spain. This paper shows the role of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in the management of modernised WUAs. The Campo de Cartagena WUA, a pioneering institution that has been applying ICTs to irrigation district management in south-eastern Spain since 1999, was selected as the case study. We analysed the effects of ICTs (including the Decision Support System, Geographical Information System, Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition System, Web and mobile applications) on both the performance of WUA management tasks and the farmers' adaptation to the new services. The main improvements in WUA management performance were a more efficient and equitable allocation of water resources, the establishment of water traceability, and the improvement in management transparency, avoiding conflicts and vandalism. The new Web and mobile services, provided 24. h a day 7. days a week, have been very well received by farmers. Data from 2012 show that 27% of farmers used Web applications for their irrigation management, reaching 63% in those farms with a surface area over 50. ha. This means that currently 52% of the water supplied by the WUA was managed on the Internet. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.