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1st in-person plenary meeting of the eGROUNDWATER project

As you all know, the eGROUNDWATER project is developing under the particular conditions imposed by the ongoing pandemic. Due to these limitations, the Algerian, Moroccan, Portuguese, and Spanish teams could not meet in person. However, on the last 13 and 14th of December, we finally had our first face-to-face meeting of the project in Valencia, Spain.

The first in-person plenary meeting of the project allowed us to share time and space in the IIAMA headquarters at the Universitat Politècnica de València.

From Portugal came Marta Varanda and Marta Nieto from the Universidade de Lisboa, and Vânia Serrão de Sousa (Universidade do Algarve). Representing the Moroccan and Algerian case studies we had Jean-Daniel Rinaudo (BRGM) y Nicolas Faysse (CIRAD). Elena Lopez-Gunn (ICATALIST) and Javier Velasco (VisualNAcert) were the two representatives from the two Spanish companies participating in the project. The local team from the UPV was supported by the project coordinator Manuel Pulido and his team: Miguel Ángel Jiménez, Marta García, Juan Manzano, Héctor Macián, Esther López, Carles Sanchis y Adrià Rubio.

We also shared experiences with Haime Gómez, coordinator of the sister PRIMA project InTheMed and his team, Janire Uribe and Vanessa Almeida.

Finally, we appreciated the online support from Marco Orlando, the Project Officer from PRIMA, and the rest of the eGROUNDWATER team that was not able to fly to Spain safely: Zhour Bouzidi from Morocco, Bruno Bonte from Algeria and Sofia Coelho from Portugal.

During the many sessions of the two-day meeting, we reviewed and commented on the project’s progress, which is progressing nicely despite its challenges.

In the afternoon of the 14th, the team travelled to the Utiel-Requena area to visit the case study and meet with local stakeholders. We met with a delegation from the Campo Arcís Irrigation Community, who explained the history behind the community and the importance of the two irrigation ponds for crop irrigation in the region.

Members from other Irrigation Communities in the area also attended the meeting and shared their experience and knowledge. Furthermore, we enjoyed a most beautiful sunset over the irrigation ponds!

We also visited the facility for water pressure control of the drip irrigation system of Campo Arcís. They explained the ongoing project and the advantages of drip irrigation for water-saving and increasing efficiency.

To wrap up the 1st meeting in the Requena-Utiel case study, we met the Cooperativa Vitivinícola de Campo Arcís. Our colleagues from Portugal, Morocco and Algeria shared the characteristics of their local case studies with members from the Campo Arcís and other Irrigation Communities. Finally, we enjoyed a wine tasting event with local wines. We are grateful to the Comunidad de Regantes de Campo Arcís for their time and effort during the whole afternoon.

This meeting has been the first in-person meeting with members from Algeria, Morocco, Portugal, and Spain. We hope that circumstances will allow us to continue soon with more sessions in all case study areas.