Berryessa Gap Vineyards farmer turns to UC Davis-developed technology to save water

WINTERS, Calif. (KTXL) — As the drought continues through the warmer months, farmers are looking for ways to help conserve water while trying to keep their businesses afloat.

A Yolo County grower found a way to do this using a water monitoring tool that was developed at UC Davis.

For the past twenty years, Dan Martinez has managed this vineyard for Berryessa Gap Vineyards in Winters, but finding a sustainable water source for the past two decades has been a bit difficult.

But then came a device developed at UC Davis nearly 10 years ago. The device sits in the field next to the crops and from there it does all the work itself, allowing growers like Martinez to ensure every drop of water is not wasted.

Efficiency is key since Martinez can now keep track of all this information without having to go to the field like he used to, which is important for Martinez in growing these grapes.

“We don’t want to use more water than necessary because it costs us money to turn on the pumps,” Martinez said.

And as the push to conserve water continues, Martinez believes it’s one of the best tools for the future of farming.

“As costs go up, as water becomes more scarce, I think that’s going to force more people to use technology like this so they can be sustainable,” Martinez said.

The California Department of Food and Agriculture also offers grants to all growers who invest in water-efficient tools like this.

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