Groundwater Sustainability

Energy Savings on Irrigation Pumps

Less surface water + increasing electricity rates + SGMA = Higher energy costs for pumping groundwater

These factors will continue to increase production costs regardless of how efficiently pumps are managed. To stay competitive various tools will need to be used.  By partnering with Wexus Technologies we’ve been able to save managers thousands of dollars on their pumping costs per year. As part of our combined solution our customers leverage PG&E or SoCal Edison’s  On-Bill Financing Programs  we are able to offer turnkey projects up to $250,000 for as long as 10 years at 0% interest as long as the project saves enough to make the principle payment over the life of the project.

 

Monitor

Measure well depth regularly using proven off the shelf sensors on a near-real time basis, eliminating truck rolls and labor costs

Track & Analyze Usage

Leverage cloud-based machine learning to derive insights for management actions that make a difference to your bottom line

Report

Provide regulators all necessary data without gaps in coverage

Project Management

Hub and spoke design approach means modular installations over a phased horizon by water manager’s own staff creates flexibility

Reduce Operating Costs

Lowering operational spend via energy saved, labor hours reduced, and risks avoided

0% Financing

No upfront capital, 0% interest rate loan from PG&E and SCE via On-Bill Financing program

Lodi Farming Logo

Lodi Farming

Lodi Farming located in Lodi, CA specializes in a range of crops grown to the highest quality. When they learned of the chance to save money on their energy costs related to pumping, they reached out to learn more about the pump savings program offered by Wexus Technologies in partnership with SweetSense. Following a remote demonstration, sharing their utility data with Wexus to determine whether there were savings to be made, and putting together a simple plan for implementation SweetSense was able to install a pilot of 5 pump locations in a single day while also getting required pump tests performed with no extra time dedicated from Lodi Farming staff. This process from beginning to end took less than 3months and resulted in crucial energy savings they could enjoy during a year where groundwater pumping was necessary due to a lack of surface water available.

Lodi Farming is now in a strong position to add further pumps to the program to increase their savings but also rest easy with detailed knowledge on their pump use for improved management and reporting.

“Their system works like it’s supposed to. I have more control over my pumping costs and that’s key under SGMA” – Lodi Farming

 

 

Partners in Groundwater Innovation

The Freshwater Trust (TFT), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit working to protect and restore freshwater ecosystems, partnered with IBM Research and SweetSense Inc. to pilot technologies which can accurately monitor and track groundwater use in one of the largest and most at risk aquifers in North America. Additional research support will be provided by the University of Colorado Boulder.

Jointly funded by the Water Foundation and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the project’s scientists and engineers demonstrated how the blockchain and remote Internet of Things (IoT) sensors can accurately measure groundwater usage transparently, and in real-time.

The sensors transmit water extraction data to orbiting satellites and then to the IBM Blockchain Platform hosted in the IBM Cloud. The blockchain records of all data exchanges or transactions made in an append-only, immutable ledger. The blockchain also uses “smart contracts,” whereby transactions are automatically executed when the conditions are matched.

Through a web-based dashboard, water consumers, including farmers; investors and regulators will all be able to monitor and track the use of groundwater to demonstrate how sustainable pumping levels can be achieved through the trading of groundwater use shares in the State of California. Individual users who require groundwater amounts beyond their share will be able to “purchase” groundwater shares from users who do not require all of their supply at a market-regulated rate. This will become critical in the years ahead as the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) begins to produce change in California (continued below)

Aerial-Photo-Sac

SGMA mandated the creation of Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSAs), local groups that are responsible for ensuring regional groundwater supplies are sustainably managed. The GSAs are charged with developing and implementing a plan to make their local groundwater usage sustainable by 2040.

Since 2016, TFT has built multiple programs in the basin. In response to another bill, Senate Bill 88, TFT developed a measurement method for surface water diversion that addresses the unique qualities of the Northern Delta region. In 2017, 148 surface water diversions covering more than 29,000 farmed acres in the region — including wine grapes, pears, corn, alfalfa, safflower, tomatoes and wheat — had enrolled in the five-year study. For groundwater concerns in the same area, TFT helped support the formation of the Northern Delta Groundwater Sustainability Agency. This means 17 local agencies formed into one integrated agency and have begun work on a unified plan for sustainably managing groundwater use across a single aquifer to achieve outcomes together rather than work at cross-purposes. These agencies are understaffed, so TFT provides the capacity to gather and analyze data and develop effective sustainability measures.