"This project aims to show how to make an efficient use
of water, in the sense that it can be internalised by most companies when they
are using water, in this specific case for the vineyard," Rosa Amador,
director-general of ADVID, told Lusa news.
The G.O.T.A. - manage, operationalise and transfer efficient
use of water in the vineyard: benefiting from every drop - is a project
promoted by ADVID, based in Vila Real, which has the companies Real Companhia
Velha, Poças, Sogrape and Symington Family Estates as partners and is funded by
the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation.
The project was submitted in 2021 because the issue of water
and the impact that climate change may have on the Douro "are a permanent
concern", but its implementation, in 2022, coincides with a year of
extreme drought and intense heat.
The aim of the project is to "raise awareness among
wine growers in the Demarcated Douro Region of the importance of the energy
status of water in the vine and efficient irrigation management and provide
them with skills to adopt good vine irrigation water management practices to
"The main way to save water is to know what the
effective need of the plant is (...), to supply water according to the
so-called 'water stress' of the vine," said Rosa Amador, explaining that a
regular measurement is made of the water potential of the vine which points to
the amount of water that should be supplied.
She then added that in the vineyard, "only drip
irrigation is used" and that "it's necessary to manage very
efficiently, in the sense of seeing all the losses that may exist along the
irrigation system including the piping".
"Another very important point is the complementarity
with other tools, such as the application of kaolin (solar protector for the
vine), which means that the vine has less evapotranspiration and therefore
needs less water. The trellis on the ground will also make it so that there is
greater water retention in the soil," she exemplified.
Since 2002, ADVID has developed studies and activities on
these issues, collecting data and transferring knowledge to the entire sector,
with the involvement of member companies.
Now, based on the work developed and with the G.O.T.A.
project, the aim is to raise awareness among wine growers of the need for
efficient management of irrigation water in the vineyard, through
internalisation of knowledge, either in irrigation systems already installed or
to be installed, or through the adoption of measures enabling a reduction in
the volume of water to be applied, promoting more efficient management of this
resource in vine growing.
Dissemination events and open days have already been held at
the partner farms, during which concrete examples were shown of how companies
are working with water and implementing best practices, the efficient use of
water and reducing water losses as well.
As part of the project, on 14 October, at the Douro Museum,
Peso da Régua, a seminar entitled "Water Management in Viticulture:
Challenges and Opportunities" will be held to bring together wine growers,
technicians, researchers and official entities with responsibilities in
water-related policies and discuss the main challenges and opportunities in the
sustainable use of this resource in a context of climate change.
Some of the topics under discussion are the impact of
climate change, new perspectives for an efficient water management, the
sustainable use of water and water availability in a context of climate change.