The Sonoma County Water Agency works closely with our region's agricultural community, including grapegrowers within the Russian River watershed to support the efficient use of water in agriculture.

    2014 Immediate Drought Assistance: Upper Russian River Vineyard Owners/Managers

    Immediate and free drought consultation, including soil moisture probes and monitoring, are available by Advanced Viticulture to commercial vineyard owners/managers with a minimum of 10 acres planted in vineyards and located between Healdsburg and Ukiah, along and/or adjacent to the upper Russian River.  Participants are selected on a first-come-first-served basis.

    Participants will receive:

    • One Aquacheck soil moisture profile probe installed in your vineyard between July and October 2014.  This probe has a built-in logger and stores moisture readings at half-hour intervals at 6 depths from 8 inches to 48 inches.
    • Advanced Viticulture staff will download probe data weekly through October 2014 to provide you with real-time moisture data.  Advanced Viticulture will use this data, along with plant water status measurements, to provide you with weekly irrigation suggestions during this growing season.

    Why participate?

    We are in a drought.  Moisture data will help save you water, keep your vines healthy and help our industry overall.

    It’s free. There is no cost to participate.  The probe will be removed from your property in October.  The data collected is yours to use immediately and for future use.

    Take action today! 

    Space is limited.  Take part in this free opportunity by contacting Mark Greenspan at or call 707.838.3805.

    This program is being implemented by Advanced Viticulture.  Funding is provided by the Sonoma County Water Agency as a part of its efforts to help collaborate with upper Russian River grape growers to reduce water demand during this drought.


    Vineyard Irrigation/Cooling Water Conservation Demonstration Project

    During the 2009 drought, we partnered with grapegrowers to implement a series of vineyard irrigation and cooling demonstrations.  The goal of the demonstrations was to educate and raise awareness about the importance of using water wisely.  Below are the demonstration studies, notes, videos and more information.

    Final 2010 demonstration results

    Final 2009 demonstration results

    Demonstration Field Days:

    Two vineyard water management field days were held in August 2010: at Kunde’s Wildwood Vineyards in Sonoma Valley and at Hoot Owl Creek / Alexander Valley Vineyards in Alexander Valley.   Discussions and demonstrations were held on the topic of wise water use in the vineyard, irrigation scheduling methods and alternatives to overhead sprinklers was discussed.  Speakers included representatives  from the Natural Resources Conservation Service, Sotoyome and Southern Sonoma RCDs, Sonoma County Water Agency and Sonoma County Winegrape Commission.  Other topics discussed included  water conservation, including frost protection, on-site water storage, irrigation system efficiency, available cost-sharing programs, and groundwater protection.

    The workshop field days were sponsored by the RCDs, NRCS, Sonoma County Water Agency and the Sonoma County Winegrape Commission. Mark Greenspan, Viticulture Consultant and water management specialist, coordinated and led the field demonstrations.