Not a Drop to Waste: Case Studies in Improving Water Use Efficiency in Grapes

On February 26 WWIF submitted a pre-proposal grant application to the Washington State Department of Agriculture Specialty Crop Block Grant Program to create a case study of examples that address water use efficiencies for grapes. This approach was selected because case studies “bridge the gap between theory and practice, and between the academy and the workplace” (Barkley, Cross, and Major, 2005). If we’re successful, the WSDA will invite us to submit a full grant proposal for the project in April.

The project starts with an industry scan to understand how growers perceive water availability, identify current practices, and discover levers influencing willingness or ability to adapt new practices or technologies to improve water use efficiency. The scan will use in-person interviews and survey developed and administered by a Washington State University (WSU) researcher and ag economist.

Industry stakeholders would make the selection but examples for the case study could include sub-surface irrigation systems, root zone composting, microclimate monitoring and other instrumentation.  Case study examples will be gathered with input from stakeholders including Washington Association of Wine Grape Growers (WAWGG) and WSU. Examples will be selected, researched and summarized including metrics to give growers a firsthand user perspective on available technologies, techniques.  A final document will be prepared and distributed within the industry and uploaded to the Vinewise™ website.  A series of workshops, field classes and tours of examples will be conducted summer of 2017 to connect with growers with at least one session conducted in Spanish. Sessions will be presented at 2017 and 2018 industry meetings (WAWGG and WA Grape Society) disseminating learnings.

Amount Sought:  $176,250
Date of Submittal:  February 26, 2016
Project Timeline:  September 30, 2016 – March 31, 2018

UPDATE May 2016: WWIF was not selected for this grant project.

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