Between 1994 and 1999, a series of studies were done to try to quantify and to modelize the effects of conservation tillage (direct drilling of seeds into a residue mulch-CT) and particularly of a partial residue mulch on water dynamics in the soil-plantatmosphere system under semi-arid conditions of western Mexico. They showed that with even a very minimal amount of residue (1.5 t/ha), CT begins to give worthwhile improvements in productivity (Scopel, 1994, Scopel et al., 1999), illustrating the important role of runoff reduction (30% less than with traditional tillage) in explaining benefits of this technique. This study set out to explain the mechanisms involved in this reduction of runoff losses, trying to separate the short term effects on water movement on the soil surface and the long term effects on water infiltration capacity (Antoine Findeling 2001).