The Efficient Water Use programme is aimed at producing knowledge and technology to improve efficiency in the use and productivity of irrigation water. As a result of these activities, several irrigation management strategies have been designed, both in woody (almond, apple, cherry, grape, peach, pear, hazelnut, olive, walnut…) and herbaceous crops (maize, alfalfa, barley…). Special emphasis is placed on spatial and temporal variability in irrigation needs, in the form of precision irrigation.
To promote the practical application of this knowledge, the programme develops decision-making tools for irrigation management and fertigation, using networks of sensors, remote sensing and crop simulation. The main topics of study include modelling irrigation and crop water ratios; automated monitoring and control of irrigation; remote detection applications for the control of irrigation and the spatial heterogeneity of plots; strategic management of irrigation; and interactions of irrigation and other cultural practices, paying particular attention to mineral fertilisation.