What is MOSES

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The main objective of MOSES is to put in place and demonstrate at the real scale of application an information platform devoted to water procurement and management agencies (e.g. reclamation consortia, irrigation districts, etc.) to facilitate planning of irrigation water resources, with the aim of:

  • managing and reducing the risk of droughts and their impact;
  • saving water;
  • improving services to farmers;
  • reducing monetary and energy costs.

Water procurement and management agencies and consortia in many instances play an essential role also in preventing and managing flood risk, contributing to reduce their social and economic impact. MOSES products and service are deemed very useful also in this respect, given the importance played by seasonal probabilistic forecasting and numerical weather prediction in the system. In fact, the MOSES solution can be considered a form of “climate service” [R1], as it will make available to agriculture water providers:

  • seasonal forecasting of water requirements over their areas of interest, in order to plan water procurement and allocation before the start of irrigation season, to mitigate the risk of water shortages and to improve water procurement efficiency;
  • detailed in-season monitoring of crop water requirements and use, in order to regularly update, fine tune and adjust allocation plans and management of the water resources to end users (districts and farmers).

To achieve these goals, the MOSES project combines in an innovative and integrated platform a wide range of data and technological resources: EO data, probabilistic seasonal forecasting and numerical weather prediction, crop water requirement and irrigation modelling and online GIS Decision Support System. Spatial scales of services range from river basin to sub-district; users access the system depending on their expertise and needs.

Four Demonstration Areas will be set up in Italy, Spain, Romania and Morocco, plus an Indian organization acting as observer. Different water procurement and distribution scenarios will be considered, collecting data and user needs,interfacing with existing local services and contributing to service definition.

Demonstrative and training sessions are foreseen for service exploitation in the Demonstration Areas. The proposed system is targeting EIP on Water “thematic priorities” related to increasing agriculture water use efficiency, water resource monitoring and flood and drought risk management; it will be compliant to INSPIRE. This SME-led project addresses to the irrigated agriculture users an integrated and innovative water management solution.

The characterization of DAs and foreseen MOSES services, started in Stage 1 of MOSES proposal process, as summarized in the tables at the end of this paragraph, aimed at collecting information on crop calendars, irrigation practices as well as on data availability with reference to the MOSES system and on existing methods/models for deriving irrigation water needs. Since early it was recognized as crucial the knowledge of water irrigation schemes in the DAs for effective use of MOSES system: in this regard a questionnaire has been circulated among the DAs and a first overview of the approaches adopted in irrigation water management has been obtained, showing a prevailing on-demand water allocation unless water shortage is foreseen as it is the case for example for the Romanian and the Italian DA; also, annual crop program can be decided at the beginning of the growing season, based on water reserves (from dams), as is the case of Morocco, or, it stems from farmers’ experience in addition to forecast information availability as it is the case for the Spanish and the Italian DA.

Tables