New technologies for smart water management in truffle growing – Phase 2

Implementation period

June 2023 – April 2024

Field of work

Digital technology
Adaptative management and Governance

Project funded by the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism of the Government of Spain and the European Union – Next Generation EU. Call for grants to support “Agrupaciones Empresariales Innovadoras” for the year 2023, within the framework of the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan.
File number: AEI-010500-2023-181


The cultivation of the black truffle constitutes a new source of resources, with a growing economic and social importance, especially in depopulated Spain. Holm oak plots are mostly located in areas with low rainfall and degraded soils, so irrigation is a basic task, given the current context of low rainfall. Knowledge of the physiological state of the holm oak in response to water stress is perceived as a value proposition to establish the need for irrigation in truffle plantations, optimising truffle production in terms of quantity and quality parameters. To this end, IoT digital technologies, sensors, Cloud and Machine Learning (all of them applied in WATERTRUF) play a fundamental role, as they allow the end user to monitor and know in real time the water status of the plantation.
Phase 1 of the project, which has already been executed, has included work aimed at integrating information from field sensors and third-party sensors into a web app infrastructure that allows easy visualisation. In addition, this web app integrates an application for the introduction of irrigation dynamics by the farmer, so that the end user is offered an evidence-based tool for the easy and intuitive management of the truffle farm. Phase 1 also included the development of a prototype based on Near Infrared technology for the quantification of the water status of holm oaks in truffle plantations, which will be evaluated in a laboratory environment.


The main objective of the WATERTRUF industrial research project is to optimise irrigation management in holm oak truffle plantations, through the combined use of new non-destructive digital technologies that allow continuous monitoring and real-time tracking of the physiological state of the tree, in order to have sufficient information for the development of intelligent algorithms that generate irrigation recommendations.
The objective of the new phase 2 is to address the development of the artificial intelligence system that, through Big Data analysis of the information collected in the field, will draw up irrigation recommendations. This phase 2 also includes the field validation of the Near Infrared sensor. All this will allow the truffle industry to improve production in terms of both quantity and quality, optimising the inputs (water and energy) used.


Development of a meteorological API and an integrated platform capable of calibrating efficient irrigation algorithms in real time. All this will allow the truffle industry to improve production in terms of both quantity and quality, optimising the inputs (water and energy) used.