It takes approximately 6 to 7 liters of water to produce 1 liter of wine. This means that, to obtain 1 hectoliter of wine, between 60,000 and 70,000 liters of water are used. Dry farm and deficit irrigation practices can help to obtain higher quality grapes. But this may not be possible in all circumstances. Taking into account that water is a non-renewable resource, it is necessary to do whatever possible to reduce water use.
Here are Top 12 water management practices employed in the wine industry to reduce water use:
Soil Management: Implementing appropriate soil management practices can enhance water efficiency, conserve water resources, and contribute to a more sustainable and resilient agricultural system. This can help to improve water infiltration, retention, and nutrient availability, reduce erosion and waterlogging in soil.
Biodynamic Practices: that do not deteriorate the soil so quickly, so that it can retain more water and it is not necessary to use so much supplemental irrigation in the vineyards.
Drip Irrigation: Implement efficient drip irrigation systems to deliver water directly to the root zone of grapevines, reducing water wastage and promoting targeted water use.
Soil Moisture Monitoring: Utilize soil moisture sensors to monitor soil moisture levels and adjust irrigation schedules accordingly, ensuring optimal water application.
Water Budgeting: Develop water budgets based on vineyard water needs, local climate conditions, and vine growth stages to prevent overwatering and conserve water.
Mulching: Apply organic mulch around grapevines to reduce evaporation, suppress weed growth, and retain soil moisture, contributing to water conservation.
Cover Crops: Plant cover crops between vine rows to improve soil structure, reduce runoff, and minimize soil evaporation, thereby conserving water.
Rainwater Harvesting: Capture and store rainwater runoff from rooftops and paved surfaces for irrigation use during dry periods.
Micro-irrigation for Young Vines: Use micro-irrigation techniques, such as micro-sprinklers, for newly planted or young vines to provide targeted water supply for their establishment
Tailored Irrigation Schedules: Adjust irrigation schedules based on vineyard microclimates and specific grapevine water requirements, ensuring efficient water utilization. Do not irrigate during the day, when there is greater evaporation of water. Irrigate during the night, when the plants can make the most of the amount of water available.
Water Recycling: Implement water recycling systems in wineries for processes like cleaning and cooling, reducing water demand and promoting sustainability.
Water Efficiency Training: Educate vineyard and winery staff about water management best practices to foster a culture of water conservation and responsible usage.
By adopting these best practices, viticulture and viniculture can effectively manage water resources, improve water use efficiency, and contribute to a more sustainable and resilient wine industry.