This is how growers are saving BIG with HotSpot AG and SWEEP!

 In SWEEP
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The State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program (SWEEP) provides financial assistance in the form of grants to implement or retrofit irrigation systems that reduce greenhouse gasses and saves water on California agricultural operations. Eligible HotSpot AG system components include pump and valve automation, soil moisture monitoring, and ET monitoring integration with Tule Technologies. 

Within the SWEEP application, there is a section on the proposed change in the level of irrigation water management. The combination of pump and valve automation, soil, and ET information provides the highest potential water savings of 15%.

This is how growers are saving BIG with HotSpot AG and SWEEP!

How does HotSpot AG achieve the 15% savings over no IWM?

Water savings resulting from improved IWM is estimated at 5, 10 or 15% of the calculated applied water, depending on the “level” of activities the grower has agreed to undertake. This savings is then added to any savings associated with other irrigation improvement practices. The NRCS currently defines these levels as:

Level 1 – Low-intensity management: preparation of a scheduling inventory, simple evaluation, checking soil moisture depletion (SMD) prior to each irrigation, application records, limited or no flow measurement acceptable.

Level 2 – Medium-intensity management: preparation of a scheduling inventory, simple evaluation, checking soil moisture depletion (SMD), prior to each irrigation, application records, flow measurement to each field.

Level 3 – Intense management: preparation of a scheduling inventory, simple evaluation, checking soil moisture depletion (SMD), prior to each irrigation, application records, flow measurement to each field, set target application dates and amounts (schedule). Follow the application schedule.  

Preparation of a Scheduling Inventory

  • The HotSpot AG irrigation scheduling tool empowers the irrigation scheduler with a dynamic ranch specific water budget. The application rates and acres are inputted per irrigation zone to allow schedulers to view volumetric amounts and durations for each irrigation. When a schedule is inputted, the scheduler can view a demand/supply chart showing if the scheduled irrigation has enough water supply to irrigate the field properly. 

Simple Evaluation

  • With groundwater, tank or reservoir monitoring growers can quickly observe the amount of water that is available along with tracking usage during irrigation management.

Checking Soil Moisture Depletion (SMD) prior to each irrigation

  • The HotSpot AG soil moisture tool provides realtime and historical volumetric soil moisture data. 

Application Records

  • HotSpot AG pump stations measure flow rate (gallons per minute), flow total (ac-ft), power (kilowatts), and energy (kWh)

Flow Measurements to each field 

  • The HotSpot AG Application Rate Tool measures flow to each field with the use of pump flowmeters and valve pressure sensors. The tool expresses flow measurements to each field as a percentage of actual flow compared to the irrigation design. 

Set Target Application Dates and Amounts (schedule)

  • The HotSpot AG Scheduling tool allows schedulers to input a schedule, quantify the amount of water and hours of irrigation per field, verify proper flow requirements, within the matter of minutes. The schedule can also be copied from week to week and easily make adjustments based on soil moisture conditions and ET requirements. 

Follow the Application Schedule

  • When the irrigation schedule is saved, the irrigation equipment will automatically turn on and off per the schedule. If something happens during an irrigation (a VFD faults, or a sand media filter plugs, for example) the system will notify the irrigation team via a text message or email. When the problem is identified and fixed, the irrigation schedule can be resumed by simply turning the pump or valve back on. 
Grant applications are scheduled to release on December 5th, 2023. Click the video to learn more about getting started in SWEEP.
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