EIA WINTER IRRIGATION FORUM : Plant, soil and water …a look at the rhizosphere

EIA WINTER IRRIGATION FORUM : Plant, soil and water …a look at the rhizosphere

The European Irrigation Association held its virtual  winter Irrigation Forum on Friday 26 January 2024. 70 participants from Europe, the United States and Turkey attended the forum for two hours and the main topic was “Plant, soil and water …a look at the rhizosphere”.



The Irrigation Forum is a gathering event held 4  times a year with the aim to cover a range of relevant topics concerning the Irrigation Sector in Europe. As well as the professional program, the forum also provides an opportunity for the participants to meet each other (virtually…) and to strengthen their network with European colleagues.

The forum began with an introduction by EIA President Moshi Berenstein to the EIA Taxonomy Project. After several months of work, supported by numerous internal and external EIA experts, the EIA President was pleased to announce that last December the EIA finalized the position paper “Sustainable Irrigation – Focus on the framework of the EU Taxonomy”. This position paper will be presented to the members of the association at a webinar on February 9 at 12:00 pm. Link to register : https://irrigationeurope.eu/en/event/eia-open-webinar-sustainable-irrigation-focus-on-the-framework-of-the-eu-taxonomy/

Then Fleur Martin, the EIA Communication Officer, introduced the 3 new members who have recently joined the association : IRRISketch a German innovative Web-based Irrigation system planner made by contractor for contractor. Hortus, an installer based in Portugal and providing Landscape Irrigation projects. And Cropin, an India global ag-ecosystem intelligence provider.

Then, our Guest Speakers Annette Berard and Claude Doussan, Research Directors in INRAE, gave a presentation  about “Plant, soil and water …a look at the rhizosphere”. They questioned the rhizosphere as an agroecological lever among nature-based solutions to manage or mitigate water deficits.  They focused on water-saving agricultural practices in the context of climate change. This presentation reports on their scientific work on the subject. Droughts are likely to recure more frequently in the near future, on a large scale and in a variety of pedoclimatic contexts. This calls for the development of farming, and more generally planting, systems that are more water-efficient and more resistant to water deficits, an important pillar of the agroecological transition. To meet this challenge, we need to deepen our knowledge of the morphological and functional traits of the plant in its environment that could improve resistance to water deficit, and this not only at aerial level but also underground: the environment influenced by the roots, the rhizosphere.

The Innovation & Technology session was presented by Andreas Maurer, CEO of DVS Beregnung GmbH, Tübingen, Germany : « Smarter than just ET – Digital-Twin for designing and operating irrigation systems ». The concept of using digital twins for irrigation involves creating a virtual 2d model of a garden, integrating detailed data about the irrigation system, plant types, soil composition, and living environment. Unlike tradi-tional smart controllers that rely heavily on initial user input and weather data to schedule irrigation, this approach considers a broader range of factors, including the soil, vegetation up to soil moisture levels.

Then, we had an open session for Q&A, with lots of interest and questions from the participants. 

You can upload the presentation of the forum below.

To watch the recording of the forum : 


Final Presentation – EIA winter Irrigation Forum – Friday 26 January, 2023


Forum Presentation

The EIA held its autumn Irrigation Forum on Friday 24 November 2023