Water Relations & Irrigation

Chair name: Brunella Morandi (Department of Agricultural Sciences, University of Bologna, V. le Fanin 46 40127 Bologna, ITALY), +39 051 20 9 6432.

Secretary name:


Focus of Working:

The Working Group (WG) in “water relations & irrigation” gathers EU and Extra EU scientists and stakeholders with extensive experience in eco-physiology, water relations, soil and irrigation management of horticultural species. The focus of the WG is to develop innovative strategies to help the EU fruit sector to face the many challenges related to climate change and future resources limitations, such as increased heat and water stress conditions, reduced water availability, competition of water use with other sectors, and the likely geographical shifts of the growing areas for several species.

These strategies include: development of new drought tolerant varieties, improvement of soil management techniques to preserve the natural soil features and face water scarcity, improvement of irrigation management through plant-based sensors for the real time monitoring of plant water status, decision support systems for precise irrigation scheduling and reduced deficit irrigation protocols, development of new orchard management strategies aimed at decreasing the orchard water use etc.

The active exchange within this WG among researchers and stakeholders facilitates the dissemination and technological transfer of the main research outputs and gives scientists precious feedbacks on the actual needs and problems experienced by EU producers.


Planned activities


Meeting: IRTA FruitCentre, Lleida, February 4th – 5th 

Documents: Meeting Programme

Outputs: WG presentation



Meeting: No meeting was organized in 2014

Documents: WG “Positioning Document”, “Topic” and stakeholders list

Outputs: Prompted by AREFLH a “Positioning Document” on the main water-related issues of EU fruit production was produced by the WG. This document has been endorsed by ca. 30 stakeholders    from 7 different EU/Extra EU countries



Meeting: Bologna, 6-8 November

Documents: Meeting Programme

Outputs: writing a “Positioning Document” and a “Topic” to highlight the most important challenges related to climate change and to the decrease of water availability that the European Fruit sector is expected to face in the near future.



Other relevant WG documents

Table with WG members and list of expertises