In the agricultural world, the arrival of the summer season coincides with the need for farmers to intensify their work in the fields. After an apparently stagnant winter season, which conceals a series of key processes for the subsequent productivity of the crops, the time for sowing and transplanting seeds begins.
However, this year is already proving to be difficult, influenced by the drought that occurred last year and which will continue its impact also this year – according to the January 2023 Bulletin issued by the Drought Observatory «due to low rainfall and temperatures above average, the largest lakes and rivers in the north […] are in distress» and the «snow supply which is essential to deliver water to rivers and lakes in the warmer seasons […] is still not sufficient to offset the deficit which arose last year».
A few figures make this situation clear: in March 2023, northern Italy has over 500 mm less water than normal, which means that at the beginning of the irrigation season we will not start at zero, but from -500mm. Experts estimate that it will take over 30 days of rain, with an average of about 20 mm per day, in order to overcome this shortage. This raises a second problem: it is increasingly common in recent years to experience extreme weather phenomena, with huge amounts of rainfall all at one time.
We are therefore called upon to readjust, and even rethink our water and irrigation management plans, especially during spring and summer when more water is required, given the certainty that climate change is in fact transforming the environment and it is unlikely for us to ever return to the previous conditions. This action would benefit the entire agricultural-food sector and also the end consumer.
As we see it, the reorganisation of water storage protocols, when possible, is a fundamental starting point. Flexible tanks can be used with excellent capacities – from 100 to 200 cu.m of water. This solution is the most popular among farmers for two main reasons: the costs are relatively low – we are looking at around €3,200 for a capacity of 80 square metres – and no installation permits are required because they can simply be positioned on the ground. Another solution, undoubtedly more expensive but structural, is the creation of large-capacity artificial ponds or reservoirs. These can be created on individual farms, but they are rather expensive and also generate bureaucratic and administrative problems. Although a number of appeals have been issued to encourage this strategy, at present the creation of an artificial reservoir is still very complex, despite the fact that it is potentially the best water management solution, as seen in the southern regions of the country, especially in Sicily and Sardinia.
In any case, the storage of water, using either flexible tanks or artificial reservoirs, also generates a second major advantage, i.e. energy savings. Accessing water stored in this way, compared to drawing it from a well, does not require the use of a deep well pump, as a pump with less energy absorption is sufficient, with consequent economic savings given today’s high energy costs. In fact, the well could be used in the evening, when energy costs less, storing the water in tanks, and then irrigating crops during the day, using low-consumption surface pumps.
The Caprari MEC series single and multi-stage flanged pumps are ideal in these circumstances: they are water irrigation and supply pumps, designed to guarantee high operating reliability in any situation. They come in a large variety of models to meet all different operating requirements. They also generate high energy savings and their excellent hydraulic performance and unique technical solutions make them outstandingly reliable in terms of operation. Routine maintenance is simple thanks to the EasyFit system, which allows easy access to the sealed area and effortless removal of the protective guards, opening of the seal rings and replacement of the packing ring.
The world today is demanding a change of pace; change can be intimidating, but it still remains the first step in innovation.