With improving input efficiency being one of the main objectives of the SIZA Environmental Standard, SIZA has partnered with AMT Fresh by providing a direct link to the Water Monitoring Tool (WMT) on the SIZA Environmental SAQ. By linking the WMT to the SIZA Environmental SAQ, members have access to a tool where they can monitor the water use efficiency (litres of water used per kilogram of fruit produced) of their crop and interpret the effectiveness of their current water management practices.
The Water Monitoring Tool was created in 2016, by AMT FRESH and has been designed to allow citrus growers and suppliers to monitor and assess water use and efficiency during crop production and set their own science-based targets. Free at point of use, the tool allows users to compare and evaluate water use between crops, orchards, and irrigation systems and track changes in water use between production cycles. It allows users to benchmark their farm against others in their region, country, and internationally. The tool includes a high-level assessment of water risks in member regions and how water supply and demand is predicted to change over the coming years. The tool also provides some recommendations on how on-farm water use efficiency could be improved, sharing best practice. The tool is now widely used by citrus growers in Spain, South Africa, and Peru. Reporting can be established at grower, exporter, or retailer level, each with different levels of insight from micro to macro assessments.
Users are able to introduce their irrigation and yield data, and compare each farm and orchard with the average values in the same area, region, or country, filtering by several parameters:
– Type of crop – Variety – Soil type – Season – Irrigation method
The values are represented in irrigation m3 + rainfall m3 per tonnes of yield, and the data output is always anonymised, only contributing with the averages rates for benchmarking purposes.
By Rafael Aparicio (Sustainability and Audit Manager) & Naomi Pendleton (Group Sustainability Director)