Irrigation BMPs: Creating a Culture of Water Conservation (DWR)

DU Test in Vineyard



To increase the adoption of irrigation Best Management Practices (BMPs) by winegrape growers resulting in irrigation water conservation.


1.    Vineyard Team performs a free irrigation system distribution uniformity evaluation for the grower.
2.    A report is written identifying areas that negatively impact irrigation system efficiency.
3.    Vineyard Team staff meet with the grower to discuss the report and collect additional information about irrigation scheduling and maintenance.
4.    BMPs with the greatest potential to improve irrigation water use efficiency are identified and discussed.
5.    Vineyard Team staff follow up every two to three months with some of the growers in the project to see what they are thinking about or doing in regards to the most beneficial irrigation BMPs identified in the report and the meeting.
6.    Vineyard Team staff provide technical assistance regarding the implementation of irrigation system BMPs to the grower as needed.


1.    Free irrigation system distribution uniformity evaluation
2.    Irrigation BMPs recommended based on the particular situation
3.    Free technical assistance regarding irrigation BMPs for two years

Irrigation is just one of many things on a grower’s mind on any given day. This project investigates how growers make decisions about adopting agricultural water BMPs given the competition of other management areas for the same scarce resources.


What is the purpose of the project?
To help growers conserve irrigation water in vineyards and to better understand how growers think about and make decisions about irrigation. 

What size block can I have evaluated?
That depends. One irrigation set is evaluated. This may include several blocks, or it may consist of a single block. It's best to contact us to see if it will work for the project.

How long does the initial meeting take?
About 90 minutes.

Will I get a copy of the report?
Yes, you will receive both a hard copy and digital copy of the report.

I already know how to interpret a DU report. Can I have the DU report without meeting?
No. The information we need to collect for the project comes from the time we spend with you one-on-one.

How many follow-up phone calls will there be and how long will they last?
Some growers will be called every two to three months. The calls last five to fifteen minutes depending on what there is to talk about. Other growers will be called one year after the DU evaluation just to remind them they are still in the project. All growers will be called and asked to meet again at the end of the project (two years).

Besides DU tests, what else is involved with this project?
Vineyard Team will organize and distribute a number of educational tools (tailgates, fact sheets, articles, podcasts) related to irrigation management.

Additional Resources

May 6, 2020

Spring 2020 Update: Agricultural Water BMP Adoption Project

Mar 2, 2020
Jacob Hernandez

Presents early findings from Vineyard Team Agricultural Water BMP Adoption Project from 2017 to Summer 2019. Describes most common DU problems observed in project vineyards.

Feb 28, 2020

Handy guide for pre, during and after season.

Feb 27, 2020

Mantenimiento del sistema de irrigacion. Previo, durante y despues de la estacion.

Feb 21, 2020
Jacob Hernandez

Literature Review 2018. Describes typical irrigation system components and layout, concepts of Irrigation Efficiency and Uniformity, DU Evaluation and Methodology, common irrigation system problems and solutions.

Feb 20, 2020
Jacob Hernandez

August 2019, Buellton, CA. Summarizes AWBA project findings for Santa Barbara County Growers. Describes common irrigation system problems and best practices.

Feb 19, 2020
Jacob Hernandez

October, 2019. Paso Robles, CA. Summarizes AWBA project findings for San Luis Obispo County Growers. Describes common irrigation system problems and best practices.

Jul 4, 2019

Jim Anshutz, Partner, AgH2O talks about irrigation system maintenance, technology, and efficiency.

Mar 7, 2019

Mark Greenspan, Ph.D., President and Viticulturist, Advanced Viticulture, Inc. shares his insights on irrigation scheduling, technology in the vineyard, and more.

Aug 29, 2018
Jacob Hernandez & Craig Macmillan, PhD

In winegrowing regions with insufficient rainfall, the importance of a well-functioning irrigation system cannot be overstated. Here are some of the most common problems found with drip irrigation systems in vineyards and some practical solutions.

Aug 23, 2018
Jacob Hernandez and Ben Burgoa Tailgate Meeting

This meeting brought together experts, boots-in-the-field irrigators, and vineyard managers to share their knowledge and experience with drip irrigation system maintenance and repair.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Sample Question

Sample Answer