An irrigation efficiency evaluation helps determine the volume, frequency, and application rate of irrigation water in a planned, efficient manner. Its purpose is to address proper irrigation scheduling, in both timing and amount, the control of runoff, and the uniform application of water. Irrigation efficiency can help manage soil moisture to promote desired crop response, optimize use of available water, minimize irrigation-induced soil erosion, decrease nonpoint source pollution of surface and groundwater resources, manage salts in the crop root zone and manage the air, soil or plants. Our staff expertise includes Agricultural Engineering, Agronomy and Soil Science with Certified Crop Advisor (CCA) credentials.
Our services include:
- Irrigation system audits, including design, operation (checking for leaks, friction loss, and pipe diameters), and maintenance
- Pump efficiency evaluation
- Distribution uniformity assessment to provide a snapshot of how uniformly water is applied during a single irrigation
- Evaluate crop-water use (irrigation water use versus actual crop needs) using local weather stations, install flow meters, track irrigation and timelines, and consult crop guidelines from University of California (season-long evaluation)
RCD has provided nutrient management services for a wide variety of projects:
- Salinas Valley Irrigation and Nutrient and Management Program with Coastal Conservation and Research, Inc., UC Cooperative Extension, and Monterey Bay Sanctuary Foundation (funding from the Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board)
- Santa Rita Creek watershed projects in partnership with Monterey Bay Sanctuary Foundation and Central Coast Wetlands Group (funding from CA Dept. of Water Resources through Integrated Regional Water Management Plan program)
Contact Laura Murphy, RCD Soil Scientist, for more information about Irrigation Efficiency Evaluations.
The RCD also offers Irrigation Efficiency Trainings, offered in both English and Spanish, to help irrigators learn how to be more water efficient.