In the last week of February, Markus-Alexander Antonietti, the Swiss Ambassador to Peru and Martin Jaggi, SDC’s cooperation director, travelled to the Ica region to learn more about the action of companies in the Blue Certification initiative and the SuizAgua/El Agua Nos Une Project, and to see the progress towards using water more efficiently in their production chains.
The tour started on 24 February, at the CELEPSA hydroelectric station; where they visited the powerhouse and the dam and went on to see San Juanito and Capillucas plants.
CELEPSA’s contribution to reducing the water footprint.
One of the hydroelectric plant’s contribution to the shared value programme is its 47 irrigation channels between water collection and return, supplied directly from the Cañete River. In order to make irrigation needs compatible with energy generation, CELEPSA has improved the irrigation infrastructure in the ecological flow zone, by putting cement lining on 900 linear meters of irrigation channels per year, increasing their water conveyance efficiency from 40 per cent to 95 per cent. This translates into a considerable reduction in water loss from the channels.
On Tuesday 25, they went to the facilities of the Huamaní Group, a company that works in agriculture, livestock, forestry and fishing, and were welcomed by Marita Benavides and Daniel Benavides, representatives of the company, who guided the tour.
Efficiency in crop irrigation, a contribution of the Huamaní Group.
The project aims to make more efficient use of water resources by replacing existing hoses and drippers on seven hectares and changing the Red Globe crop to the Midnight Beauty variety. The technology of the new irrigation system is called the “Rivulis D2000 Dripline”, which combines the features needed to provide a reliable and efficient performance with medium and high wall-thickness. The innovative flat dripper design minimizes water flow resistance in the main channel, allowing the use of longer laterals than similar cylindrical drippers. Several features are incorporated in the dripper design, such as large filtering area, large dripper labyrinth and sharp teeth that produce turbulence to prevent clogging. The advantages offered by the product allow: i) significant reduction in dripper clogging at all flow rates, ii) optimization of transport costs, iii) suitability for different water conditions and a design for a longer life, iv) ease of use and maintenance, and v) uniform application of water and nutrients.
Moving on with the agenda, the Ambassador and director headed for the El Olivo hamlet in the San Juan Bautista district. This area was badly affected by the 2007 earthquake, which prompted the Swiss government to donate an elevated tank and a water well. The purpose of the visit was to check their condition and state of repair after so many years.
In the afternoon, they went on to CITE ICA, where they were received by Mr. Manuel Morón, who guided them through the company’s facilities, and explained the actions the company has taken as part of the water resource optimization plan.
CITE agroindustrial and its water use improvement plan.
Among the objectives outlined, they highlight i) the replacement of irrigation water, through the evapotranspiration of the crop, using the weather station located in the facilities of CITEagroindustrial. ii) in the vineyards, they use organic moss made of cover crops to keep moisture in the roots and reduce the number of hours of irrigation; iii) they have installed flow meters to control water use; iv) they have raised staff awareness of best practice in water use and reduction measures.
Meeting with the Ica Regional Government
On 26 February, the ambassador and director paid a protocol visit to the governor of Ica, Javier Gallegos Barrientos, to share the experience of SuizAgua/El Agua nos Une and the Heavy Metals project (Water in emergencies), using filters to improve water quality, which has been implemented in Tacna and Moquegua with great success.
The governor expressed his support and interest in water projects for dams and for channels and building water courses for tributaries in the rainy season.