New Irrigation Service – Napa County RCD Irrigation Scheduling Cost-Share

Napa County RCD received funding in 2017 from California Department of Water Resources to work with growers to implement precision irrigation scheduling and assist growers with other irrigation improvements. We can now offer growers cost-share of equipment and consultant services related to enhancing irrigation.

Below is the outline of the program. If interested, you can request a questionnaire from Charles Schembre at

Irrigation Scheduling Service:

RCD will provide 5 growers with the Irrigation Scheduling Toolkit over two irrigation seasons.  Toolkit will include one-on-one consultation with RCD staff and professional irrigation consultants to devise and implement an irrigation scheduling plan based on monitoring vineyard soil moisture and vine water status.

Toolkit will include some or many of the following components, as determined by the needs of the grower:

  1. RCD assists grower with using real-time vineyard water monitoring data to schedule irrigations during two growing seasons.
    • Install at least one soil moisture probe with telemetry for real-time data acquisition in the vineyard. Weekly, analyze data to determine active root uptake zones and depth of irrigation percolation. ET based water budget scheduling may be included.  Funds may also be allocated for other technology such as Tule Sensors.
    • Weekly, measure vine water status (stress) with a pressure bomb and or leaf porometer. RCD will provide and train the grower with the equipment.
    • Weekly, observe vine growth and shoot-tip stress indicators.
    • At the end of each irrigation season, create vineyard-specific soil moisture thresholds for irrigation that the grower can use to guide irrigation in future seasons.
  2. RCD assists grower in evaluating water quality, pump, or well issues.
  3. RCD conducts soil analysis for interpreting rooting depth, water holding capacity and physical properties.
  4. RCD assists grower in understanding total water use and installation of a water meter.
  5. RCD conducts a full system irrigation efficiency evaluation, including distribution uniformity tests.


RCD provides:

  • One-on-one technical consultation regarding all components of the irrigation toolkit (value of $6,500 – $8,000)
  • Up to $4,000 worth of equipment, technology, consultation, and tests


Grower provides:

  • Approximately $6,000 worth of equipment, technology, consultation, and tests – may include items you are already deploying
  • 100 – 200 hours of time in 2 years. Includes your time learning, training, assessing and managing your irrigation system. Most of this time may be tasks you already perform and can include your staff and management team’s time.


Contact: Charles Schembre, RCD Vineyard Conservation Coordinator: or 707-690-3122

Source: Napa County RCD  |  2018 © Copyright Payroll Masters

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