As per the sources, it has been reported that a project called LIFE + Ebro-Admiclim [in association with the Institute for Food Research and Technology (IRTA)] is working towards preventing the subsidence of a wide portion of Ebro Delta rice growing area in Spain. According to environmentalists forecast that 45% of the Delta surface will sink below sea level by the end of the century due to subsidence. Further, it has also been stated that subsidence occurs because of the retention of sediments in upstream reservoirs and sea level rise due to climate change. The two most important consequences of subsidence are the loss of surface in the delta and consequently of crops and increased water salinity.
Meanwhile, a pilot phase has been launched by the LIFE + Ebro-Admiclim project, under which sediments from the river are collected in a water purification plant and are injected in the irrigation network of the Ebro Delta and in the final part of the Ebro River. The aim of this pilot test is to establish a continuous reinjection system of these sediments to compensate the negative effects of subsidence. It will also assess the impact of sediment addition on rice growth. It has also been revealed that the amount of sediments added to the study plots (0.5 Kg/m2) is reportedly comparable to what would accumulate in 100 years.
Further, according to reports, in the pilot phase, the type of fertilizers (mineral or poultry manure) used on the rice fields will also be evaluated. In this regard, the initial phase results showed that the type of the amount of introduced sediments, mineral fertilizer, or poultry manure do not affect the rice production in the analyzed paddies. Therefore, the IRTA and the project’s Investigator noted that these measures could be used to counteract subsidence in the Ebro Delta rice growing region accordingly.