Protecting Water Quality in Vineyards (319h)

In 2001, CCVT received a grant from the Regional Water Quality Control Board to develop demonstration sites that minimize non-point source pollution and protect water quality. 

What is Non-Point Source (NPS) Pollution?

NPS pollution occurs when water that carries pollutants moves over the soil surface or percolates downward through the soil profile. These pollutants can be natural or "man-made" and may eventually be deposited into streams, rivers, lakes, the ocean, coastal estuaries and groundwater. NPS pollutants commonly associated with agriculture include sediment, fertilizers, and pesticides. Water containing any of these constituents reduces the potential of this water being beneficially used for drinking, irrigation, recreation, and the environment.

What are Best Management Practices (BMPs)?

  • BMPs are strategies that reduce NPS pollution involving reducing the potential pollutant (i.e., nitrogen) and/or reducing the pollutant carrier (i.e., fast moving water).
  • BMPs for this project are practices that reduce off-site movement of soil, water, fertilizers and pesticides.
  • BMPs being implemented in this project include: grassed roads and water ways, cover crops between and under the vines, and fertilizer management through soil and petiole sampling.

Project Components

  • Twelve demonstration vineyards were selected from existing Central Coast vineyards that are within the Salinas, Santa Maria, and Santa Ynez watersheds. Many of these vineyards are current CCVT members. However, several non-member vineyards were chosen to encourage broader participation.
  • Demonstration sites were selected primarily based on their areas of sensitivity and proximity to water bodies. Specific project areas include dirt roads, barren areas with no cover, and areas where minimizing fertilizer applications were of interest to the vineyard managers.
  • Project monitoring includes annual PPS evaluations, photo documentation, stream monitoring, and soil sampling.

Grower Participation

  • Once demonstration areas were selected, BMPs were developed utilizing technical assistance from Cooperative Extension, Natural Resource Conservation District, and erosion control specialist.
  • The NPS team worked closely with vineyard managers to ensure that the BMPs were consistent with their management objectives for these areas.
  • Full cooperation and "buy-in" is necessary for this project's success because successful implementation of these practices requires substantial work from the growers.
  • Demonstration growers are matching this project with vineyard equipment, staffing, seed establishment, irrigation, and monitoring during the establishment of vegetation.

Learn More about the Clean Water Project

Special Thanks to the Following:

Funding Agency

Regional Water Quality Control Board 319(h)
 

Learn More about Sustainable Vineyard Practices

  • Aerial Imagery: What Type is Right for You?
    Aug 9, 2018 | Stephanie Bolton and Craig Macmillan | LWC-VT Aerial Imagery Workshop
    The Lodi Winegrape Commission and Vineyard Team invited vendors with different technologies to a workshop for show-and-tell.
  • Agenda and Hand-out from Aerial Imagery Workshop- August 2018
    Aug 9, 2018 | Stephanie Bolton | LWC-VT Aerial Imagery Workshop
    Glossary of terms and some useful information about aerial imaging.
  • Agricultural Remote Sensing Basics
    Aug 9, 2018 | North Dakota State University
  • Viticultural Mapping by UAVs, Part 2
    Aug 9, 2018 | Andrew G. Reynolds et al. | Wines & Vines
    Second in a two-part series on using aerial maps generated from images captured by a UAV for viticultural decision-making.
  • Viticultural Mappnig by UAVs, Part 1
    Aug 9, 2018 | Andrew G. Reynolds et al. | Wines & Vines
    First in a two-part series on using aerial maps generated from images captured by a UAV for viticultural decision-making.
  • Top Ten Podcasts
    Jul 20, 2018 | Sustainable Winegrowing Podcast
    Check out some favorite episodes Here are ten episodes of the Sustainable Winegrowing podcast you don’t want to miss.
  • Ecological Considerations of Vineyard Development
    Apr 9, 2018 | Dan Rodrigues | 2017 Sustainable Ag Expo
    Dan Rodrigues, Owner/Viticulturist of Vina Quest LLC talks about ways to reduce the environmental impacts of developing a vineyard and preventing future pest problems through careful planning and paying attention to the unique topography and ecosystems of individual parcels of land.
  • Q&A-Ecological Considerations of Vineyard Development
    Apr 9, 2018 | Dan Rodrigues | 2017 Sustainable Ag Expo
    Dan Rodrigues, Owner/Viticulturist of Vina Quest LLC, takes questions about ways to reduce the environmental impacts of developing a vineyard and preventing future pest problems through careful planning and paying attention to the unique topography and ecosystems of individual parcels of land.
  • Slides for Ecological Considerations of Vineyard Development
    Apr 9, 2018 | Dan Rodrigues | 2017 Sustainable Ag Expo
    Dan Rodrigues, Owner/Viticulturist of Vina Quest LLC talks about ways to reduce the environmental impacts of developing a vineyard and preventing future pest problems through careful planning and paying attention to the unique topography and ecosystems of individual parcels of land.
  • Regulatory Agency Permitting and Ecological Considerations for Vineyard Operations
    Mar 27, 2018 | Brian Dugas | 2017 Sustainable Ag Expo
    Principal Biologist, Terra Verde Environmental Consulting talks about regulatory agency reviews, permit requirements, road/culvert designs, permitting strategies, and ecological considerations for vineyard development and management at the 2017 Sustainable Ag Expo.
  • 32: Conserving Irrigation Water
    Mar 15, 2018
    Irrigation is just one of many things on a grower’s mind on any given day. To help growers conserve irrigation water in vineyards, Vineyard Team has launched a project to investigate how growers make decisions to adopt agricultural water BMPs.
  • Introduction to Conservation Planning
    Feb 26, 2018 | Margy Lindquist | 2017 Sustainable Ag Expo
    Slides from Margy Lindquist's talk about the importance of conservation planning as part of vineyard development at the 2017 Sustainable Ag Expo.
  • Upper Salinas Las Tablas Resource Conservation District
    Feb 26, 2018 | Andrew Johnson | 2017 Sustainable Ag Expo
    Slides from Project Manager Andrew Johnson's talk about how the Upper Salinas-Las Tablas RCD and Resource Conservation Districts can help growers protect and improve their land during vineyard development.
  • Guideline for Pesticide (Hazardous Waste) Disposal
    Jan 11, 2018 | San Luis Obispo County Agriculture Department
    Contacts, definitions, and processes for disposing of pesticides (hazardous waste in San Luis Obispo County.
  • 25: Under-Vine Cover Crops
    Dec 7, 2017
    Dr. Justine Vanden Heuvel, Associate Professor of Viticulture at Cornell University, explains how growing cover crops in the vine row can devigorate vines and protect water quality.
  • Liquid Fertilizer Calculations
    Dec 4, 2017 | Craig Macmillan, PhD
    Calculating how much fertilizer to apply or was applied is easy using these simple steps.
  • Liquid Fertilizer Rate/Application Worksheet
    Dec 4, 2017 | Craig Macmillan, PhD
    Use this helpful spreadsheet to calculate how much liquid fertilizer to apply or was applied.
  • 24: Measuring Water and Nitrogen Use
    Nov 16, 2017
    Paul Crout, Vineyard Manager and Viticulturist at Vineyard Professional Services explains why keeping records of water and Nitrogen use in the vineyard is important and how to use that information to best manage your crop.
  • 21: Investing in Sustainable Ag Research
    Oct 5, 2017
    Stacie Clary, Communications Manager for Western SARE discusses the program and some of its many successes from funding grower-lead projects to find sustainable solutions to agricultural problems.
  • Floor Management for Soil Health
    Sep 5, 2017 | Craig Macmillan, Ph.D. | Technical article
    A fact sheet about cover crops and tillage.
  • Irrigation Consumer Bill of Rights
    Sep 5, 2017 | ITRC | Publication
    A list of questions you should discuss with your irrigation dealer before purchasing an irrigation system. This will help you make better decisions about system design options. You will also understand the obligations of both yourself and the dealer when designing your irrigation system.
  • The Vineyard Team Growers' Report, July 2017
    Jul 26, 2017 | Craig Macmillan, PhD
    The crop looks good and canopy growth is strong.
  • What is Sustainable Agriculture?
    Jul 10, 2017
    Sustainability rests on the principle that we must meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
  • High Tech Tools in the Vineyard Episode 13
    Jun 1, 2017
    Doug Beck, Science Advisor for Monterey Pacific Inc., talks about the different types of technology used in the vineyard.
  • Conservation Plan Template
    Mar 28, 2017
    A template for creating your own plan to better manage the natural resources in and around your vineyard.
  • Assessing and Managing Salinity in Grapes
    Feb 27, 2017 | Michael Cahn | Managing Salinity Tailgate
    These slides explain the terminology used in lab reports regarding soil and water salinity issues and include equations for calculating leach requirements and leaching fractions.
  • Drip Irrigation System Startup: Recommended Procedures
    Feb 6, 2017 | Craig Macmillan, PhD
    To make sure your drip irrigation system is going to operate as your expect it to, follow these steps before the irrigation season arrives.
  • ILRP & Statewide Permit for Industrial Stormwater Discharges
    Nov 15, 2016 | Laurel Warddrip
    Irrigated Lands Regulatory Program and Statewide Permit for Industrial Storm Water Discharges
  • SGMA
    Nov 15, 2016 | Erik Ekdahl
    State implementation of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA)
  • Cover Crop Species Experiment Fact Sheet
    Oct 26, 2016 | Craig Macmillan
  • Cover Crop Termination Experiment Fact Sheet
    Oct 26, 2016 | Craig Macmillan
  • Resource Conservation District (RCD) Services
    Aug 23, 2016 | Vineyard Team
  • Cover Crops to Reduce Water Use
    Aug 16, 2016 | Craig Macmillan, Ph.D.
    Do cover crops deplete soil moisture enough during the winter and spring months to increase the amount of irrigation water required during the growing season? These two experiments suggest that the species of cover crop and when and how it is terminated do not have this effect.
  • Summary of Grape Irrigation Points
    May 1, 2012 | Dr. Charles Burt | ITRC Cal Poly