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March 22, 2017
Request for Proposals: Vineyard Water Efficiency Knowledge and Technology Transfer

In partnership with Sustainable Wine Growing BC and the BC Wine Grape Council, the BC Agriculture & Food Climate Action Initiative is seeking a contractor to complete a Vineyard Water Use Efficiency Knowledge Transfer project in the Okanagan. Please follow the link below for more information. 

Request for Proposals – Vineyard Water Efficiency Knowledge and Technology Transfer (closes April 10, 2017)

The Vineyard Water Efficiency Knowledge and Technology Transfer project will work with the Okanagan wine grape sector to develop and deliver a suite of sustainable water management tools and resources, while creating a shared understanding of current issues and opportunities around sustainable water use.

The pilot project will test the effectiveness of a series of approaches to strengthen the water management information and resources. While materials will be commodity specific, the approach being piloted could be transferable to other commodity groups in the future. The wine grape sector’s commitment to assisting growers with adoption of sustainable management practices (through Sustainable Winegrowing British Columbia) provides a positive context for piloting in which materials are likely to have long-term “traction.”

The project will compile existing research and knowledge – about vineyard soil water conservation and water use efficiency technologies – and practices into a State of Knowledge and Technology report. This report will inform the development of guidance materials including fact sheets, and a brochure (or similar resource) that highlights case studies from the Okanagan and beyond.

The materials will be written in a non-technical style – designed to be practical and well-suited for field application. Topics will be determined by the State of Knowledge and Technology report, but may include: soil and water relationships, selecting suitable root stock and pruning system, using appropriate cover crops, monitoring moisture and water use, and employing effective irrigation water delivery.

A performance metric will also be developed that will enable wine grape growers to benchmark, compare, and communicate their water use performance. Performance metrics have already been prepared in other wine regions and for other BC contexts. The format and content of existing metric tools will be reviewed and adapted to suit the needs and conditions of BC wine grape growers. A summary of the review and recommendations will be included in the State of Knowledge and Technology Report.

The guidance materials and performance metric tool will be delivered to the industry through a webinar, and two field-day workshops hosted at local vineyards to showcase sustainable water use practices at their sites.

A summary report will be prepared at the end of the project. The report will include an assessment of lessons learned and an evaluation of the project, including possible steps for adapting the approach and/or materials for other commodity groups.