Hero Image

Water and Soils

UC Irrigation Program Water Management Handbooks

The following series of handbooks provide detailed, practical information for all aspects of operating and maintaining drip irrigation systems; they are available for purchase at the following websites:

Micro-Irrigation of Trees and Vines

Maintaining Microirrigation Systems

Agricultural Salinity and Drainage

Irrigation Pumping Plants


Drip and Micro Irrigation Design and Management

This book by Dr. Charles Burt and Stuart Styles from the Cal Poly Irrigation & Technology Research Center is an excellent technical resource covering many aspects of vineyard irrigation systems. It is available for purchase at the following website:

Drip and Micro Irrigation Design and Management


Deficit irrigation of quality winegrapes

The UCCE booklet titled "Deficit Irrigation of Quality Winegrapes Using Micro-Irrigation Techniques" by Dr. Terry Prichard and other UCCE academics summarizes the fundamental aspects of vineyard irrigation management:

Deficit Irrigation of Quality Winegrapes Using Micro-Irrigation Techniques


Washington State University irrigation information

The climate conditions in Eastern Washington have many similarities with the inland areas of the Central Coast. The following WSU website has useful information for managing vineyard irrigation:

WSU vineyard irrigation information

The following WSU article is a good basic resource for understanding vine water needs and irrigation strategies:

Irrigation Basics for Eastern Washington Vineyards


Groundwater resources

This extremely useful UC book provides comprehensive information on many aspects of water, including groundwater, water quality, monitoring, and legal considerations. It is available for purchase through the UC ANR Catalog:

Watersheds, Groundwater and Drinking Water


DWR CIMIS weather data

The CA Dept. of Water Resources CIMIS program is a network of public weather stations that provide ETo data for irrigation scheduling purposes. The data is free, but you must sign up to use the service.

Data from individual stations is available at this website:


The newer Spatial CIMIS program provides modeled ETo data for all parts of California; this new feature is especially useful for areas where limited ETo data is currently available:



Irrigation scheduling calculators

The irrigation scheduling worksheet originally developed in Sonoma County has been adapted for San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Counties. This is a convenient tool for calculating irrigation water requirements based on local climate data. Two versions are available; the first covers the Paso Robles area, the second covers Santa Barbara and Coastal San Luis Obispo:

Paso Robles Area Irrigation Scheduling Worksheet

Santa Barbara/Coastal San Luis Obispo Irrigation Scheduling Worksheet

The Irrigation Converter spreadsheet is an Excel file for converting irrigation amounts from units such as 'hours of runtime' or 'gallons per vine' to inches of water depth. This conversion is useful for comparing individual vineyard water use to the results of our ongoing regional studies:

Irrigation converter


Sonoma County irrigation website

The UCCE Sonoma County website has a variety of useful irrigation resources:



Australian GWRDC irrigation information

The Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation in Australia has useful information available for managing vineyards under water-limited conditions:



Irrigation water quality assessement

The free pamphlet below provides basic information on how water quality impacts soil salinity:

Irrigation Water Salinity and Crop Production

The following UN FAO publication has a large amount of detailed information on irrigation water quality and salinity management:

Water quality for Agriculture

The following guidelines will be very useful to help with the interpretation of laboratory water analysis data for assessing the suitability of water for irrigation use in general:

Irrigation water analysis guidelines


Soil moisture monitoring

The following publication from the CSIRO in Australia provides very detailed information on a wide range of soil moisture measurement technologies. This was published in 2005; interested growers would be advised to investigate more recently developed technologies as well:

Soil Water Monitoring - 2nd Edition

The following guide can help growers determine what types of soil moisture monitoring devices may be useful:

Choosing the right soil moisture monitoring device


Soil Survey information

The following two websites have Soil Survey information available online; this online information is replacing the older print versions of the Soil Survey documents:

California Soil Resource Lab at UC Davis:


NRCS Web Soil Survey:


FAO Irrigation and Drainage Paper 56

The FAO Irrigation and Drainage Paper 56 provides very detailed information on crop evapotranspiration. It is likely much too detailed for most growers, but can be a good general reference for understanding crop water requirements:

FAO Irrigation and Drainage Paper 56


California Water Atlas

The original California Water Atlas was published as a large format book in 1979. This amazingly detailed resource is now available online at the following website:


An updated online version of the atlas is also being prepared; for information see the following website: