The Watchdog Weather Station at Kettle Valley Winery.
The Regional District discovered in 2013 that wineries use five to eight litres of water for every litre of wine produced, so water meters were installed in wineries, as well as most of the local businesses and other agricultural and residential users.
Some statistics of note:
- The average residence in the valley uses 657,000 litres of water per year.
- 675 litres per person per day (2.67 persons per residence).
- Orchards average 1,140,000 litres per acre per year.
- Vineyards average 329,000 litres per acre per year.
- Kettle Valley’s vineyard used 230,000 litres per acre.
- Kettle Valley’s winery used 657,000 litres.
Kettle Valley’s Winery was very pleased with their result, as they used about the same as an average residence, 657,000 litres.
Here’s what they did:
Water used for washing in the winery is settled and reused for irrigation in the vineyard, bringing the net water usage in the winery to about 20% of the average residence.
- Instead of using less water for washing, they have committed to using hot water, high pressure and steam for cleaning instead of chemicals, so that the water can be reused.
- In the vineyard, they used 70% of the average vineyard and 20% of the average orchard, and still want to be more frugal.
The advantages to careful irrigation management are:
- No excess growth to manage, fewer weeds, less disease and therefore less spraying, and smaller berries.
- Smaller berries gave them darker, more intense wines and are one of the best contributors they know of for wine quality.
- In order to get smaller berries, the vineyard managers say they water just enough to keep the vines alive during key times.
The new weather station will allow Kettle Valley to measure all of the typical weather data, such as temperature, rainfall, wind and humidity. It will also track soil moisture at multiple depths, soil temperature, irrigation times and leaf wetness.
For more information, contact Spectrum Technologies:
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