Water availability for plants is one of the main limiting factors for crop productivity. At the same time, shortage of freshwater is one of the main environmental problems in many areas of the World, and its importance will increase in the near future because of the growing pressure on water resources and the effects of climate change. Therefore, two of the main challenges for soil research, in light of the increasing demand of food in the World and the shortage of water resources, are to: i) find new sources of water for irrigation and, ii) increase water use efficiency in the soil. Moreover, the success of efforts to fight desertification depends on the availability of water in the soil suitable for use by vegetation. This session focuses on the application of management strategies to increase water use efficiency both in agriculture and in projects aimed to combat desertification, i.e.:
-Water-saving tillage systems.
-Water harvesting methods.
-Irrigation systems and schedules (including the development of new irrigation methods and the use of instrumentation to improve irrigation efficiency).
-Increase of water availability in the root zone while preventing runoff, leaching or evaporation of water from the soil.