PG&E grant bolsters irrigation innovation on University Agricultural Laboratory

Fresno State’s University Agricultural Laboratory will soon be home to state-of-the-art demonstration facilities for innovative water and energy management in agriculture.

Bolstered by a $450,000 grant from the Pacific Gas and Electric Co. (PG&E) and supported by irrigation and water-technology manufacturers, the new AgWaterEnergy Center will oversee demonstrations of how innovation can save significant amounts of energy and water and preserve water quality in agricultural operations across California’s Central Valley.

 With nearly 1,000 acres and various enterprises including vineyards, fruit and nut orchards, row crops, a dairy, and a winery, the University Agricultural Laboratory is a microcosm of San Joaquin Valley agriculture. Under the AgWaterEnergy Center, a variety of full-scale production units will be available to demonstrate how farmers, ranchers, and students can benefit from new water and energy technologies and management – all in a central, easily-accessible location.

CIT will work with manufacturers to design, install and monitor the most advanced water- and energy-saving systems available today.

“We look forward to working with PG&E and others to operate a center that will focus on the water/energy nexus and education,” said David Zoldoske, CIT director. “Saving water and energy is important in helping California’s agricultural industry to continue to grow, prosper and feed the world. We are excited about being able to help educate the ag community with innovative ideas and resources.” Educational seminars are expected to begin this summer.

For more information on becoming a partner in the AgWaterEnergy Center, contact the Center for Irrigation Technology at (559) 278-2066 or visit www.californiawater.org.