Demonstration area – Romania

The Romanian DA, coordinated by the National Institute of Hydrology and Water Management, INHGA in collaboration with the Administratia Nationala de Meteorologie (ANM) configures itself as Service Provider in its DA.

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Fig. 01 Demonstration Areas (DAs) location

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Fig. 02 Infrastructure (Levees/Drainage/Irrigation) in the Embanked Great Island of Danube River, Braila, Romania

In Romania, Moses forecasts products will be used to support irrigation water management decisions at the level of two demonstration areas (DAs -Fig. 01) located in the South-East Romania. This area is the driest one of Romania with mean annual precipitation between 400-500 mm (“Clima Romaniei”, Editura Academiei Romane, 2008).
The first demonstration area (Fig. 02) is represented by the Station for Agricultural Research and Development (SCDA Braila - 1470 ha) located in the Danube floodplain, former naturally flooded “Balta Brăilei”, currently the “Embanked Great Island of Danube River, Braila, Romania”. In the second year of Moses project implementation, the first demonstration area was extended to the entire Embanked Great Island of Danube River, Brăila (72000 ha). A large part of this area (55640 ha) is managed by AGRICOST SRL, one of the largest farms in the EU and the biggest cereal producer in Romania.

The irrigation infrastructure in the Embanked Great Island of Danube River, Brăila, was developed between 1975 and 1980 and serves an area of about 69000 ha. This system consists of: a channel network for water conveyance; electric pumping stations; and a network of buried pipes of various orders for water distribution. Irrigation water is delivered at specific outlets where farmers connect their overhead distribution equipments to apply sprinkler irrigation (center pivots, travelers, etc.,) in the field. Specifically, the irrigation infrastructure includes 34 centralized electric pumping stations to serve 53550 ha, each pumping station serving irrigation land units between 1100 - 1900 ha. During the recent years, important investments for updating the irrigation infrastructure had been accomplished by AGRICOST SRL in the Embanked Great Island of Danube River, Braila, Romania: more than 350 center pivots, that cover 41000 ha, have been installed and future investments are planned, especially at the level of pumping stations. Main field irrigated crops are: corn, wheat, barley, sunflower, soybean and alfalfa.

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Fig. 03 Irrigation Infrastructure at Movila Farm, Ialomita County, Romania

For Moses Project verification forecast products in the Embanked Great Island of Danube River, the INHGA and SCDA Brăila signed on June 2017 an agreement with PALTIN International Inc. (West Laurel, Maryland, USA) for creating, free of charge, a one year Demo in Romania that consists of a real-time water monitoring system (precipitation; soil water content; soil electrical conductivity, soil temperature, soil permittivity, and groundwater level variation) based on Low Earth Orbit satellite communication technologies. PALTIN International Inc. which is an independent research and technology transfer company, dedicated on the Front Page of his web site (http://www.paltin.com/demo-in-romania) presentation of Demo in Romania in the experimental crop fields area of SCDA Brăila.

The second demonstration area (DA) is represented by the Movila farm (2900 ha) located in the Bărăgan Plain and managed by S.C AGRICHIM SRL Fetesti, Ialomita, Romania
Movila farm (Fig. 03) is part of the “Pietroiu-Stefan cel Mare Irrigation District (54400 ha)” that was put into operation at full capacity in 1973. The main pumping station, with an installed discharge of 51 m³/s, takes water from the Danube River (Borcea Branch) and transfers it at 42 m height, in the irrigation distribution channel located on the high terrace of the Danube River. The Movila farm is equipped with Valley center pivot irrigation systems characterized by pivot length (700 and 800 m), each pivot providing 10 mm water depth application (10 liters/m2) at each turn in 36 hours. The main field agricultural crops are: wheat, corn, barley, soybean and rape.
Both study areas in Romania are representative for irrigation water planning due to frequent periods with severe drought conditions, limiting the level of agricultural crops yields drastically. The main difference between these areas is represented by the depth to the ground water table which reaches a few tens of meters below land surface at Movila farm (40-50 m), while in the Embanked Great Island of Braila the depth to the water table can be near the land surface (0,5-4 m) depending on the Danube River hydrologic regime.

Technical file DA Features