This project provides a simple and scalable way to measure groundwater extraction that is included in irrigation practices. Existing smart meters deployed by California's Investor Owned Utilities (IOU) are leveraged to provide automated water records to growers by using patent-pending software algorithms. This data is augmented by weather data and optional soil moisture data from local sensors. The water measurements are the combined with the other sources of data to reduce irrigation while maintaining or optimizing yield. The system monitors irrigation and sends text alerts to growers with recommendations to optimize irrigation efficiency. The technology will be applied on an industrial scale at six sites by several growers and is estimated to save at least 20% of their energy and water use for alfalfa, tomato, pistachio and almond crops. The beneficiaries are the farmer ratepayers who will reduce their electricity and water use and other ratepayers who will benefit from the farms avoided use of electricity and water.
This project will develop software capable of sending alerts to farmers in response to moisture levels in their fields that will tell them when the fields need to be irrigated. This project will use weather data, and soil monitoring sensors, in existing agricultural fields to measure moisture levels of the fields for different crops in six locations. These devices and sensors which are approximately the size of a deck of cards will be used for data gathering and will be removed when the project is completed. This will not result in major disturbances to an environmental resource.