Adriano Battilani

Senior Researcher & Project Manager, Consorzio di binifica per il Canale Emiliano Romagnolo CER
Adriano Battilani

Adriano Battilani is Senior Researcher at the Canale Emiliano Romagnolo (CER), which is at the same time a private institute, undertaking research on agricultural water management for regional Government (Emilia Romagna - Italy), and the main local agricultural water stakeholder.

Adriano has more than 30 years of experience in irrigation, fertigation and cropping system’s sustainability research with a focus on the integration of crop water and nutrient use, water reclamation and reuse and water quality, decision support systems (DSS) development.

Since 1990 he has been involved in several EU research projects and has been the principal scientist responsible for projects financed by the Emilia Romagna Government, private institutions, industries, public stakeholders and lawmakers. Adriano has also been involved in pre-normative studies focused on establishing rules for fertigation management in the framework of integrated crop management (ICM), determining the minimal quality characteristics of treated waste water for agricultural reuse, and defining water quality for irrigation.

Models and Decision Support Systems developed from the 1990’s were aimed to support the large efforts done in the 1980‟s to improve crop water use efficiency at farm and water basin scale, but actually few of them are nowadays widely applied. The main reason of models and DSS failure is their high specialisation. As a result, only few skilled and well-trained technicians or academic institutions can manage to run a model or DSS, that are indeed not attractive for farmers and technicians.

The key element which made a DSS successful are: provide to farmers a simple, user friendly, free of charge, informative system helpful to decide how much to irrigate in the everyday life practice; tailor the tools for a large number of crops; implement economic calculation of the irrigation profitability, providing farmers with further information other than optimal irrigation volume and time, assessing the economic benefit related to the next irrigation.