Irrigation Water Optimizers

Explore the next generation of sustainable water management


Make Every Drop Count Irrigation Water Optimizers: Supporting More Focused Sustainability Efforts

Irrigation Water Optimizers (IWOs) are a category of products that enhance water use and productivity in irrigation systems by:

  • Improving soil infiltration of water, reducing evaporation and runoff
  • Facilitating lateral water movement within the soil profile
  • Holding water in the root zone

Our IWOs are a convenient and simple way to optimize water use. They are easily incorporated into irrigation systems with options for injection via pivot sprinklers, drip irrigation, or micro sprinklers. Most can also be applied directly on the soil surface and irrigated into the soil profile, and some are compatible with other nutrient applications via fertigation or preplant sprays.

Drip Irrigation System Close Up.   Water saving drip irrigation
Strawberry bushes are moistened with drip irrigation.
Using drip irrigation in a young apple tree garden.

It's All in the Science How Irrigation Water Optimizers Work

There are two primary types of IWOs: Synthetic surfactant and natural moisture absorption polymer, each with specific modes of action.

Among synthetic surfactants, there are two specific types:

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Infiltration surfactants

Infiltration surfactants treat water and reduce surface tension, allowing the water to move into and throughout the plant root zone. They are ideal for crusted hardpans and tight soils and work well under wet conditions.

Without infiltration surfactants, tight soils repel water and cause runoff, which can induce plant stress, reduce crop yield and quality, reduce the efficacy of soil-applied chemistries and limit nutrient availability and uptake.

Hydration surfactants

Hydration surfactants treat soil and improve water availability in the root zone to maintain water content and reduce plant stress. They are ideal for dry climates with limited water supplies and in coarse soils that are susceptible to water leaching from the root zone.

In these conditions, growers may increase the frequency of irrigation cycles to maintain ideal soil moisture and offset leaching, increasing the use of irrigation water. Lack of moisture retention within the soil profile adds demand for water in areas with resource limitation.

Seedling vegetable beds with drip irrigation system

The Best Choice for Your Irrigation System

Within the IWO product line, Tolero and Domino offer broader utility by combining both infiltration and hydration surfactants into one product, while Quickin in focused on water penetration with infiltration surfactants.

Unique among the products in the IWO product line is Stretta, which contains carboxymethyl cellulose or CMC. The CMC active ingredient is derived from cellulose, which is a natural component of plants. In its soluble form, CMC is hydrophilic or water loving. When injected with irrigation water into the soil, it interacts with the soil, air, and water interface to form a matrix, where it binds and absorbs loose soil particles, as well as nutrients and other soil-applied inputs.

With the formation of the matrix, CMC improves soil physical properties such as porosity, infiltration rate, and water holding capacity. The water, nutrients, and other soluble inputs absorbed in the matrix are then released to the plant root as needed.

IWOs can help address water-related issues in your irrigation system to improve availability to the plant over time. This improves crop productivity and potentially reduces the amount of irrigation water required to sustain the crop.


Water is a finite resource IWOs: Sustainable and Profitable

It’s no secret water is at a premium for several high-production agricultural regions in the United States. While modern irrigation equipment, effective watering schedules and irrigation efficiency methods have led to more efficient water use, progressive growers and food companies will need to continue to adopt new technologies to future-proof their operations. The goal of IWOs is to implement management strategies that improve water use efficiency while maintaining yield and quality expectations.

These sustainable production practices aren’t only beneficial to the environment. They’re also good for business. Working in an unsustainable way creates supply chain, operational and financial risks for companies, organizations, and growers. Today’s consumers pay more attention to how products are manufactured and demand more planet-friendly production practices.

To help meet consumer demands and ensure surface and groundwater resources can sustain food production and other water uses, stakeholders, including government organizations, food companies and farming operations, need to explore new water management strategies. Growers must employ practices that improve water use, including implementing more effective irrigation methods, adopting water-efficient cropping and irrigation systems and using technology that optimizes water infiltration, soil retention and use.

Irrigation Pivot

Innovative Irrigation System Water Optimizer Technology

Maximize the health of your crops by enhancing the ROI of your water. Explore how treating your water with IWOs can help you conserve water and optimize irrigation efficiency resulting in healthier plants, higher yields, better crop quality, improved nutrient uptake and enhanced input performance.


  • Product Function
  • Soil types Best For
  • Key Features
  • Download Resources
  • Product FunctionInfiltration + Retention
  • Soil types Best ForAll
  • Key FeaturesBroad utility product across irrigation and soil applications
  • Product FunctionInfiltration + Retention
  • Soil types Best ForCoarse sand to moderately heavy texture soils
  • Key FeaturesFertilizer compatible; Improved retention of water, nutrients, and other inputs
  • Product FunctionInfiltration + Retention
  • Soil types Best ForMedium to heavier clay soils
  • Key FeaturesCombines water penetration with moisture retention
  • Product FunctionInfiltration
  • Soil types Best ForHeavier clay soils
  • Key FeaturesEffective tool to move water into hard to wet soils prone to run-off

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