Spanish lemon growers reduce water footprint by 39%
The Spanish Lemon and Grapefruit Interbranch Organization (Ailimpo) published results of an ongoing water usage survey and productivity for Spanish lemons, and said that it shows the lemon has the least water usage of all fruits grown in the country.
According to a Ailimpo press statement, the lemon industry in Spain has reduced its water footprint to 271 cubic meters per ton over the past 30 years, a reduction of 39 percent.
Ailimpo said in the statement that steps taken in irrigation and fertilization have also led to an increase in farm productivity by 274 percent in that same period, of which water usage is a key metric.
The water footprint is a metric on the use of fresh water to obtain a product or service, and considers both direct and indirect consumption throughout the entire supply chain.
Three factors are taken into account: the blue water footprint, which is the water extracted from surface or underground sources; the green footprint, derived from the rain assimilated by the crops themselves; and, finally, the gray water footprint, which corresponds to the water used to avoid altering the blue water.
Investments in storage and distribution infrastructure were credited for the advances, according to the statement. Localized irrigation systems were credited as a factor in achieving these results.
Spanin’s lemon industry is expected to produce at 990,000 metric tons (MT) of the fruit in the 2021-22 season.