HubIS relies on a long-term Mediterranean partnership internationally recognized in the field of irrigation, in its multiple dimensions, with complementary skills and common approaches. Each partner is in-charge of the attached site-iHub and contributes to other site-iHubs according to its field of expertise.

Participant N°OrganizationPI nameCountry
1 (Coordinator)Institut Agro Montpellier (MSA)Gilles BELAUDFrance
2TerraNISSylvie DUTHOITFrance
3University of Tipaza (TUC)Tarik HARTANIAlgeria
4University of Thessaly (UTH)Nicolas DALEZIOSGreece
6Institut Agronomique et Vétérinaire Hassan II (IAV)Ali HAMMANIMorocco
7University Meknes Moulay Ismail (UMI)Zhour BOUZIDIMorocco
8University of Lisboa – Instituto Superior de Agronomia (ISA)Maria do ROSARIO CAMEIRAPortugal
9Centro Operativo e de Tecnologia de Regadio (COTR)Gonçalo RODRIGUESPortugal
10Agencia Estatal Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas (CSIC)Helena GOMEZ-MACPHERSONSpain
11Instituto Andaluz de Investigacion y Formacion Agraria Pesquera Alimentaria y de la Produccion Ecologica (IFAPA)Pedro GAVILANSpain
12Institut National de la Recherche en Génie Rural, Eaux et Forêts (INRGREF)Abdelaziz ZAIRITunisia

MSA (through research unit G-eau), ISA and CSIC are three European research groups having specialized on irrigation performance assessment and improvement over the past 20 years, at different scales and in different environments. Their research actions generally involve farmers and water user associations. The Mediterranean region is one of their main focuses. Therefore, the consortium is based on existing relationships and past collaborative projects in the Mediterranean region, ensuring a broad vision of the irrigation issues in the region. The research-action approach has paved the way to participatory methods applied to irrigated agriculture (farms and WUA) developed in the recent years, for which these partners have numerous high-IF scientific publications.

The coordinating team MSA (research unit G-eau) is an interdisciplinary research lab based in Montpellier (France) involving hydrologists, agronomists, social scientists (among others), originally specialized in irrigation systems since the 1990s. The unit (through its supporting institutions, under the leadership of CIRAD) has built a long-term partnership with academic institutions working on irrigation performance in the Maghreb region (SIRMA network12). HUBIS builds on the existing partnership with IAV, TUC, UMI, INRGREF, but it will also extend its field of expertise (e.g. with precision irrigation) and its sites of application with study areas in Eastern and South-Western Europe. Regarding performance evaluation, CSIC and ISA will bring complementary tools and methods to cover all the scales and criteria to be considered.

The expectations from new sensors and communication technologies, as well as the challenges regarding their adoption, makes it essential to include teams specialized in precision agriculture. MSA, UTH, Terranis and 3DSA will be the key partners in this field. MSA also involves a leading team in this field, with strong connections with the professional sector (see “Mas numerique” infrastructure further) and the international scientific community (e.g., organization of the 8th European Congress on Precision Agriculture, July 2019, Montpellier). Terranis (SME) is one of its key partners in research projects with spatial information, webservices of spatial indicators for water stress monitoring and decision support. TerraNIS is also the founder and the coordinator of the association called EUGENIUS™ which aims at networking SMEs distributed across the different European regions, in order to deliver geo-information services in the regions where they are located. The contribution of Terranis will be essential to develop, and evaluate the potential of adoption of studied innovations, as well as tailor-made indices, and developped webservices (with already affiliated users, as well as new ones), related to irrigation decision. UTH (University of Thessaly) also has a strong expertise in advanced-tools for precision irrigation, which is the core competence of the team involved, with a focus on water and nutrient saving. Their contribution will be based on earth observation methods, wireless sensors networks, crop modelling, weather prediction. This work will be done in direct association with 3DSA (SME), which will provide specific information on the Greek site, as well as generic information on the other sites of the project (based on satellite information), such as seasonal weather prediction.

Beyond the promises of new methods, as was the case for drip irrigation, it is essential to understand the processes of adoption in typical irrigated environments, then design and disseminate innovation accordingly. This requires the involvement of social scientists (UMI, MSA, INRGREF, IFAPA) and strong connections with the farmers and WUA, as it will the case on all site-iHubs, which were selected based on the quality of past collaborations between local stakeholders and scientific teams. These connections will be re-inforced by the contribution of dedicated structures (COTR, IFAPA), of companies (through their customers), and the implementation of participatory methods.

The variety of partners and environments is expected to cover all types of innovations, including all types of irrigated systems, all processes along the value chain (crop planning, water application, monitoring, scheduling, etc.). Connections will be established with other PRIMA consortia, such as MEDWATERICE (PRIMA 2018), covering the specific questions of irrigated rice in the Mediterranean basin (common partner: CSIC).