Current Projects

No single discipline can understand today’s complex water issues that impact the economics, health, and culture of a region. For example, CWI research incorporates the interdisciplinary research team of its Faculty Fellows. We still support single researchers working on specific issues; however, the problem of managing a finite resource to meet multiple demands requires a more holistic approach.

Flow Meter Evaluation

Working with the Greater Kaweah Groundwater Sustainability Agency, Mid-Kaweah Groundwater Sustainability Agency, and the East Kaweah Groundwater Sustainability Agency CWI will conduct a Groundwater Metering and Well Monitoring Pilot Program. The objective of the pilot program is to test and evaluate different types of (a) deep irrigation well metering units, (b) data collection and transmission methods for flow metering data, and (c) data storage software and hardware systems used to archive data for analysis. The final deliverable for the pilot program will be an evaluation report that will describe the various types of systems available for irrigation well metering, and provide a recommended approach and specification for meter system implementation.

SGMA Governance Research Report

CWI, as a neutral analytical resource will prepare a SGMA Governance Research Report. The Report is intended to serve as an independent review of governance and implementation strategies of GSAs in critical overdraft (COD) basins/subbasins as a means to assist the sustainable groundwater management community make informed decisions on governance and implementation strategies.

Develop a Shared Vision for Water in the SJV – Stakeholder Engagement

CWI is assisting SJV stakeholders to work together to find common ground, and create a shared vision for water management.

Shallow Subsurface Artificial Groundwater Recharge (SSAGR) System at Irrigated Farms

An innovative approach to groundwater recharge is the application of a recharge system that is installed below the crop’s rootzone. This system will be referred to as Shallow Subsurface Artificial Groundwater Recharge or SSAGR for short. A SSAGR system is comprised of a pipe system with perforations and any runoff water or excess available surface water can be transported and distributed through this pipe system facilitating the percolation of water right into the groundwater aquifer. CWI is working with the Fresno State University Farm Laboratory to install this system below the crop’s root zone, and conduct research in economic feasibility, agricultural soil health, impacts on agricultural industry and agricultural water usage should be conducted to demonstrate the benefits of a SSAGR system in agricultural fields.

Climate-Smart Farmland Transition Study

The Public Policy Institute of California has partnered with CWI to assist with stakeholder outreach and engagement for this study. The study will include analysing the following gaps: (1) information on the benefits and costs of different land management options, (2) estimates of funding needs and potential funding sources for different types of beneficial land uses, and (3) an understanding of how institutions and policies can be structured to facilitate adoption of beneficial approaches. The success of a coordinated approach also hinges on collaboration of diverse stakeholders who may not normally work closely, such as growers, water managers, city and county land use planners, and soil and air quality experts. The objective of this project is to fill the knowledge gaps outlined here, and to bring together diverse stakeholders that are crucial to implementing elements of the approach. The goal of the research project is to advance cooperative strategies for managing the Valley’s formerly irrigated croplands for greatest benefit.

Safe Drinking Water for Disadvantaged Communities – Urban System Consolidations

CWI staff worked with the City of Fresno to conduct the technical and financial feasibility of for 12 public water systems located in proximity to the City’s urban water system to consolidate with the City of Fresno water system. CWI completed the feasibility study March 27, 2020, and is conducting outreach and education to those systems. The next steps will be to work with Self Help Enterprises, Water Board staff, and the City of Fresno to move these projects to construction to deliver safe drinking water to these communities.

Climate Resiliency through Regional Water Recharge in the San Joaquin Valley

Conduct a two-year experiment on the Fresno State University Agricultural Lab (UAL) to determine the water needs of cover crops at different constraints.

For more information on past research projects, see our Publications page.

Our Partnerships

Collaborative partnerships with other Fresno State organizations help CWI strengthen projects, such as testing agricultural water products at the Center for Irrigation Technology (CIT) and Water, Energy, and Technology (WET) Center.

Center for Irrigation Technology (CIT)

Created in 1980, the Center for Irrigation Technology (CIT) is internationally recognized as an independent testing laboratory, applied research facility and educational resource. The Center for Irrigation Technology (CIT) supports developing and deploying technologies that will bring the world the most innovative products and resource management tools. CIT is built on a foundation of innovation and technology transfer focused on testing, applied research, education, and entrepreneurship. CIT staff works with the public and private sectors to advance irrigation, water, and energy technologies and management practices.

Water, Energy, Technology Center (WET Center)

The Water, Energy, and Technology (WET) Center helps ventures grow healthy businesses starting from innovative ideas to commercially-viable products and services. Since 2007, the WET Center has supported water, energy, and agricultural technology entrepreneurs through programs and services developed by their experienced team, with the assistance of a diverse network of industry and academic professionals. The multi-tenant facility is available to water, energy, and ag technology entrepreneurs from around the world. The WET staff is dedicated to supporting entrepreneurs and creating a rich culture of collaboration, community, and connections.