Irrigation efficiency is a crucial objective of water management both because of the scarcity of the resource and because of climate uncertainty and variability. The main objective of irrigation programming is to define the quantity
adequate water to apply to the crop, as well as the time of irrigation, the frequency and the adequate duration to avoid the appearance of water stress during the crop cycle.
There are three main methods of irrigation programming to achieve efficient water use and production optimization.
a) Method based on evapotranspiration (ET) of crops
b) Method based on soil moisture content
c) Method based on plant monitoring
The most frequent irrigation programming strategy aims at full satisfaction of crop water requirements, but partial irrigation strategies can be considered and pursued during periods of limited water availability or to achieve specific production quality objectives. Controlled deficit irrigation (a strategy in this project) and sustained deficit irrigation are common programming approaches for partial irrigation, which could be used to achieve specific production objectives or to maximize water use efficiency and water productivity.