FR EN ES Search
  1. Home
  2. Your solutions
  3. Irré-LIS® a tool for aiding irrigation management

Irré-LIS®: a tool for aiding irrigation management

All the solutions


  • Project initiator: Arvalis-Institut du végétal, agriculture technical institute
  • Partners: Terres Innovia; the users of the tool
  • Duration of the project: since 2008

Context of how the project emerged: 

Irrigation represents from 10 to 15% of water withdrawals in France (about 4 billion m3) and 50% of net consumption after return to the environment. Irrigation is mainly carried out in the summer months, which are also the hottest and driest months.

Because they are the first to be affected by water shortages, this project was aimed at farmers in order to make them aware of the need to use water thriftily.


Strategy and objectives

Irré-LIS® is an online water balance tool used to manage irrigation. It is a model that calculates the evolution of water shortage in soil.  It relies on exclusive calculation models constantly developed end improved by the specialists of ARVALIS – Institut de Végétal for 20 years.

By taking into account spatialized meteorological conditions and the field data supplied by the farmer, Irré-LIS® calculates in real time the state of the reserves in soil, and also the provisional dates of stages of crop growth that impact crop sensitivity to hydric stress, and it provides forecasts for the next few days.

It provides many advantages for farmers who irrigate their crops:

  • Increased performance by managing water supplies without wasting water or falls in yields;
  • The full potential of crops is obtained by anticipating irrigation rounds (the spraying cycle is defined for each area of a perimeter);
  • From 20 to 60 mm of water is saved without lowering crop yield (in sufficient volume compared to systematic irrigation); saving time and irrigation rounds, i.e. €20/ha.
  • Receive assistance thanks to technical follow-up provided by the tool’s distributor in partnership with ARVALIS –Institute Végétal.

The project’s innovative characteristics

An open-ended tool

Irré-LIS is a tool developed on the basis of experimental data. It is now enriched by all the feedback provided by its users and its use has been expanded to different crops (for example, soya, proposed in 2019 thanks to a partnership with Terres Inovia).

A customized tool

The tool is adapted to each farmer and can be used autonomously via a computer, tablet or smartphone. The farmer enters information on their fields to ensure that the water balance can be calculated. The data is then mashed with climatological data to determine the optimal application of irrigation. The farmer also benefits from the traceability of these practices.




Results and outlook

This tool is now available for 9 crops: corn (for human consumption, yellow, seeds), straw cereals (soft wheat, hard wheat, spring barley), potatoes, soya and tobacco. The tool allows farmers to manage water as closely as possible to the plant’s needs, in order to optimize its efficiency. In 2018, Irré-LIS® was used to manage 34,000 ha in France. The short-term benefits of the project are more efficient irrigation for farmers who manage their fields with this tool and thus better profitability. It has allowed them to optimize each mm supplied to the fields.

At the territorial scale, if a large number of farmers use the tool, one can imagine the benefits for water resources.

How can this project be duplicated?

It is possible to work with farmers who use water resources in view to setting up a group of Irré-LIS users.


Innovation follow-up

Two years later

Project development

The Irré-LIS tool is still being deployed. Thanks to partnerships with Terres Inovia and UNILET, new crops are being studied for inclusion in the system: after soybean, spinach, beans and sorghum will be tested in 2021, followed by peas and carrots in 2022.


In 2020, 38,000 hectares were piloted with Irré-Lis involving more than 1,000 farmers. This is equivalent to 6,000 hectares more than in 2018, and the system is constantly growing.

Irré-Lis has a positive impact on the environment. It enables irrigation to be controlled as precisely as possible and potentially saves water compared to a pipe without tools. This allows a potential reduction in the amount of water withdrawn from the resource and therefore an improvement in the environmental balance.


The tool is developed in France via development structures such as storage organisations, seed companies and chambers of agriculture that use the tool.

#Irrigation management #Saving water  #Water stress 

To know more

Photo Credits: ARVALIS / Camille Moirenc

Mettez à jour votre navigateur pour consulter ce site