Water & Irrigation Toolkit

This Toolkit contains resources in the following categories. Note: Some resources appear in multiple categories.

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The State of Water in CA

Learn about the many critical water issues facing California and what measures the State is taking to help mitigate future crisis.


Source: SPUR | Type: Reference
Comprehensive report discussing water issues and solutions for CA.


Source: CA Department of Water Resources | Type: Reference
Report discussing drought in CA, including impacts, predictors and state-wide mitigation strategies.


Source: CA Water Plan | Type: Reference
CA policies and on-farm practices used to increase water efficiency, issues limiting efficiency, and recommendations to achieve more efficiency.


Source: CA Department of Water Resources | Type: Reference
Tool to monitor precipitation, reservoir storage, regional water supply indices and snowpack water content.  Updated monthly.

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Efficiency via Irrigation

Use these resources to get the best results from your irrigation systems, including proper application rates, system improvements and salinity control.


Source: NRCS | Type: Info Sheet
Guide to optimize uniformity of water application, timing and amount decisions.


Source: CAWSI | Type: Checklist
Strategies to optimize irrigation system design and efficiency.


Source: ATTRA | Type: Reference
How to calculate irrigation hours, measure flow rates and techniques to irrigate with limited water resources.


Source: CASFS | Type: Reference
Guide to water budgeting techniques, calculating application rates and analyzing soil moisture for optimal absorption.


Source: UC ANR | Type: Reference
Guide and techniques for controlling salinity under drip irrigation.


Source: UCCE Small Farm Program | Type: Reference
Learn which irrigation systems provide the best cost savings and water use efficiency.


Source: ATTRA | Type: Reference
Identify causes of wasted energy and learn energy-saving hardware improvements tips.


Source: Rain Bird | Type: Reference
Learn how to locate inefficiencies, correctly measure energy use and implement new tools to reduce energy bills.


Source: Rain Bird | Type: Reference
Use these resources for information on micro spray patter selection, frost protection by sprinkling, and maintenance tips for impact sprinklers.


Source: Rain Bird | Type: Reference
Determine crop water requirements and sprinkler spacing for a wide range of crops.  Also learn the friction loss characteristics of various irrigation pipe materials.


Source: Cal Poly Irrigation Training & Research Center | Type: Software Tool
Provides information on the techniques and materials needed for the evaluation of a number of irrigation methods including furrow, border strip, micro irrigation and more.


Source: UC ANR | Type: Reference
Tips on developing a deficit irrigation strategy for almonds, walnuts, stone fruits, corn and other crops.


Source: CA Institute for Rural Studies | Type: Reference
Case studies highlighting innovative water management practices, including costs, benefits and lessons learned.


Source: Sustainable Agriculture Network | Type: Reference
Guide to water conservation practices, including soil, plant and livestock, and water management techniques.


Source: Texas Water Development Board | Type: Reference
Outlines several agricultural water-efficiency measures and explains how they can help save water, energy and money, and possibly even increase crop yields.

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Efficiency via Soil Management

Learn effective ways to reduce evaporation/transpiration loss, improve the water-holding capacity of the soil, implement proper crop rotations and utilize low-till methods.


Source: CAWSI | Type: Checklist
Strategies to optimize irrigation system design and efficiency.


Source: CA Institute for Rural Studies | Type: Reference
Case studies highlighting innovative water management practices, including costs, benefits and lessons learned.


Source: Rain Bird | Type: Reference
Learn the importance of distribution uniformity in relation to the soil deficit line, energy savings and potentially higher yields.


Source: Sustainable Agriculture Network | Type: Reference
Guide to water conservation practices, including soil, plant and livestock, and water management techniques.

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Efficiency via Plant Selection

Learn how plants and trees can improve water quality and increase efficiency through hedgerows, cover crops, annual crop rotation and drought tolerant forage.


Source: CAWSI | Type: Checklist
Strategies to optimize irrigation system design and efficiency.


Source: CA Institute for Rural Studies | Type: Reference
Case studies highlighting innovative water management practices, including costs, benefits and lessons learned.


Source: Sustainable Agriculture Network | Type: Reference
Guide to water conservation practices, including soil, plant and livestock, and water management techniques.

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Efficiency via Water Cycling/Aquaculture

Create double the benefit from your water source by capturing runoff and rainwater from the field, wastewater from processing and even growing crops together with aquaculture.


Source: CAWSI | Type: Checklist
Strategies to optimize irrigation system design and efficiency.


Source: CA Institute for Rural Studies | Type: Reference
Case studies highlighting innovative water management practices, including costs, benefits and lessons learned.


Source: Sustainable Agriculture Network | Type: Reference
Guide to water conservation practices, including soil, plant and livestock, and water management techniques.

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Groundwater

Use these resources to understand and manage groundwater through proper well maintenance, efficient pumping systems, and various measuring tools.


Source: UC ANR | Type: Reference
Introduction to groundwater, its relation to aquifers and use in CA's hydrologic cycle.


Source: Glenn County Resource Conservation District | Type: Reference
Key concepts of groundwater monitoring and step-by-step guide to measuring well water levels in your own operation.


Source: UCCE Tehama County | Type: Reference
Guide to determine water recharge rates, understand water flow direction and soil gradient, and sounding devices to measure groundwater levels.


Source: UCCE Tehama County | Type: Reference
Easy strategies to better utilize a combination of surface and groundwater to improve water availability and reliability.


Source: UCCE Tehama County | Type: Reference
Learn how to optimize the efficiency of new well construction through proper design and engineering, well location choice, and drill methods.


Source: UCCE Tehama County | Type: Reference
Guide to choosing an energy-efficient well pump and strategies for maintaining pumping efficiency over time.

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Water Quality

Improve water quality and food safety on your farm with these resources on water sampling, self-evaluation techniques and irrigation management.


Source: WA State University | Type: Info Sheet
Quick tips on how to address irrigation water quality and improve food safety.


Source: UC ANR | Type: Info Sheet
Step by step process for irrigation water sampling.


Source: UC ANR | Type: Reference
Learn how to reduce the impact of pesticides on surface water quality when runoff occurs from irrigated crops.


Source: UC ANR | Type: Reference
Tool to document improvements in water quality or to identify current or potential problems on your operation.

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Fracking

Resources on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, in CA, including regulation, debate, health risks to humans and farm animals and what we can do to ensure the safety of our food supply.

These resources represent the views of many farmers and ranchers in CA, but are not representative of the entire population. This is a widely debated issue and we recognize that more information is needed to support either side of the argument.


Source: Grace Communications Foundation | Type: Reference
Short introduction to the process of hydraulic fracturing, commonly known as fracking.


Source: Take Part | Type: Reference
Learn why oil extraction and water-intensive farming could pose health risks for the nation’s food supply.


Source: NY Times | Type: Reference
Oilmen and farmers debate on how to coexist as fracking moves onto CA’s prime farmland.


Source: Cornell University | Type: Reference
Article discussing the possible health risks of fracking on humans and farm animals.


Source: The Nation | Type: Reference
Investigative report on the human health risks from fracking, especially for farmers and ranchers.


Source: Pacific Institute | Type: Reference
Examines the impacts of fracking and unconventional natural gas extraction on water resources and identifies areas where more information is needed.


Source: CA Dept. of Conservation | Type: Info Sheet
Answers from the fracking regulatory agency about regulations, public disclosure and environmental protection.


Source: HBO Documentary Films | Type: Video
Award-winning 2010 documentary about a rural Pennsylvania resident's quest to understand the politics and risks of fracking across the U.S.


Source: NY Times | Type: Reference
Article written by Greenwire to clarify details of the Gasland film before the Academy Awards for which it was nominated for Best Documentary Film.

Tracking Action Alerts
Type: Petitions & Subscriptions

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Bay-Delta Tunnels

Learn about the controversial Delta-Bay Water Conservation plan, or tunnels project, which seeks to secure water deliveries from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta to Southern CA.


Source: FarmsReach | Type: Info Sheet
Overview of the controversial tunnels project, including invested stakeholders, projected costs, effect on fish and farmland, criticism, recommendations and how to take action.


Source: CA Dept. of Fish & Game | Type: Reference
Comprehensive proposal for a Delta Plan that protects fish and wildlife dependent on the Delta.


Source: CA Water Boards | Type: Reference
A proposed plan of additional protection measures for fragile ecosystems and endangered species in the Delta Plan.


Source: ECONorthwest | Type: Reference
Presents a high and low cost analysis of the Bay-Delta tunnels on ratepayers in Los Angeles.

Tracking Action Alerts
Type: Petitions & Subscriptions

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Calculators

Use these quick and easy calculators to determine the efficiency of your irrigation systems, make improvements and better ensure high crop yield.


Source: Rain Bird | Type: Calculator/Wizard
Calculate the precipitation rate/nozzle discharge, pipe friction loss and velocity, pump break horsepower and more.


Source: Rain Bird | Type: Calculator/Wizard
Calculate tree and vine daily requirements/precipitation rate, drip line friction loss and manifold pressure loss and diameter.


Source: Rain Bird | Type: Calculator/Wizard
Calculate pressure, flow, length, area, volume, precipitation rate, and water temperature.


Source: Rain Bird | Type: Reference
Chart of formulas and conversion rates, including emitter discharge, precipitation rate and friction loss.

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