Due to climate change, we are increasingly experiencing catastrophic phenomena such as violent storms, heavy rains or prolonged periods of drought. These are not only disruptive in cities, but also seriously affect farmers, determining the size, quality and price of crops. Agriculture is an extremely water-intensive economic sector. It is therefore not surprising that rainwater retention solutions are increasingly being sought here too, in order to conserve water resources.
- Hydrological situation and retention potential in Poland
- New regulations for the benefit of farmers
- Innovative HYDROZONE solutions – the antidote to agricultural drought
Hydrological situation and retention potential in Poland
According to the UN, the limit below which a country is considered at risk of water scarcity is 1700 m3 per capita. In Poland, this value has not exceeded 1600 m3 for years, which gives it one of the last places in Europe. Our resources are not only very scarce, but are additionally affected by high seasonal and area variability.
Meanwhile, still most of the precipitation, a major contributor to the water balance, ends up back in the atmosphere through evaporation. Only some of it infiltrates into surface and groundwater or is collected and reused.
There is no doubt that major investments in technology and water-saving solutions are needed. Rainwater management is not only an expression of concern for the environment and dwindling potable water supplies. It also represents tangible financial savings, which farmers are slowly beginning to realise.
It is estimated that the real retention capacity in Poland is 15% of the average annual outflow. For several decades we have not been able to exceed 6.5%. We only managed to do so two years ago. All thanks to increasing investments, subsidy programmes, but also an increase in environmental awareness.
The law is favourable to farmers
In addition to existing programmes and funds to support retention, legislation also seems to favour agricultural investment in this area.
Simplified regulations in force since this year allow the reconstruction of drainage systems without a water permit. It is also possible to construct retention ponds of up to 5,000 m2 in area and 3m in depth by notification only. In addition, according to Regulation 2020/741 of the European Parliament and of the Council of the European Union of 25 May 2020, it will be possible to reuse water from previously treated wastewater in agriculture.
The project has been proceeding since 2018 with the aim of setting minimum quality standards for reclaimed water in EU member states. Its aim is to ensure sufficient water to irrigate fields, particularly during heat waves and severe droughts.
The new regulations are part of the circular economy. It is intended to help adapt to the consequences of climate change. The regulations will take effect from 26 June 2023. According to experts, the entry into force of the regulation could increase the use of water from wastewater from the current approximately 1 billion m3 per year to as much as 6.6 billion m3 in 2025.
Innovative HYDROZONE solutions – the antidote to agricultural drought
It turns out that simply by investing in the right tank, even more than 500 litres of rainwater can be collected during half an hour of rain. On a monthly basis, with an average rainfall of 650 mm, this yields up to 5 000 l of water!
The construction of multi-purpose retention tanks makes it possible to reuse treated wastewater for crop irrigation. This not only allows for lower consumption of limited surface and groundwater resources, but also great savings in the face of ever-increasing water prices.
HYDROZONE systems manufactured by Ecol-Unicon are a line of modern products addressing all rainwater and snowmelt retention needs. Their advantage is a modular design with additional equipment allowing to collect, but also to treat and reuse rainwater. Three variants are available: from basic retention functions to advanced water management.
HYDROZONE BASIC retention tanks with evaporation function are used to retain rainwater and snowmelt in the event of drought. They will also prove their worth in the prevention of waterlogging and flooding on farms.
The second type of tank, HYDROZONE CLEAN, additionally enables rainwater and snowmelt water to be treated before it is reused for crop irrigation. HYDROZONE BENEFIT, on the other hand, is a solution with a particularly high environmental performance. It includes features that allow the tank to be adapted to the very specific needs of each farmer.
The modular design of all HYDROZONE systems not only allows them to be easily adapted to the type of farm, but also greatly simplifies installation and day-to-day maintenance. They are equipped with a pretreatment system and, depending on your needs, can optionally include flow regulators, water refreshing jets or pumps to facilitate water extraction and watering.
Importantly, they are constructed using durable DZB reinforced concrete tanks, capable of withstanding high dynamic loads. Integral to the HYDROZONE tanks is the innovative Bumerang SMART system, which allows key data to be monitored and the operation of the facilities to be effectively controlled and managed.