The project will be implemented in two Mediterranean representative case and well-monitored study areas in the Ebro (Spain) and Tensift (Morocco) basins.

Within the Ebro basin we will focus on the Algerri-Balaguer irrigation district located within the Noguera (a tributary of the Ebro river) basin for three reasons: i) long-term drainage measurements are available, ii) the reduction of water consumption is also addressed from the energy point of view by introducing solar panels for water pumping (currently 250 kW installed) and iii) there is an interest from stakeholders to improve fertilization by reducing nitrogen losses. From this study case and from the comprehensive monitoring of the Ebro River, the estimated impact of irrigation on river water quality and quantity will be extrapolated to the entire Ebro basin.

In Morocco and in the Haouz plain, in particular, the Moroccan government has set up an ambitious program for irrigation conversion from flood to drip. However, the obtained results for deep percolation are surprising as an inadequate use of the drip technique may lead to substantial water losses through drainage. It has been shown that the drainage losses for the drip irrigation sites are in the range 29-41% of water input while they are relatively lower for flood irrigation, ranging from 26 to 31%. In general, over-irrigation amounts are arbitrary and largely overestimated. In our study basin, this situation leads to an overexploitation of groundwater, with a level decreasing from 1 to 3 m per year.