WATERIGHT, a valuable water management tool growers can use to develop customized irrigation schedules that are efficient, seasonal and site-specific, will be the focus of a Jan. 14 seminar at Fresno State.

This hands-on seminar will be held in a computer lab where growers will be able to use the free, Web-based WATERIGHT program and learn more about how it can lead to potential water and energy savings.

WATERIGHT was developed by the Center for Irrigation Technology (CIT) at Fresno State with significant support from the US Bureau of Reclamation and the California Department of Water Resources. WATERIGHT is designed to be a multi-function, educational resource for irrigation water management and is driven by the California Irrigation Management Information System (CIMIS) that provides reference evapotranspiration data for specific areas.

The irrigation schedules produced by WATERIGHT are estimates of plant/water requirements and are based on long-term, average weather patterns and average crop coefficient curves.

WATERIGHT also contains a series of Advisories and Tutorials covering various topics including Energy Use for Irrigation, Non-Point Source Pollution, Water Budget and Graphical/Sensor-based Irrigation Scheduling, Planning Furrow, Sprinkler, or Micro Irrigations, and the difference between Irrigation Efficiency and Distribution Uniformity.

The Jan. 14 workshop will educate growers on using the WATERIGHT program to help manage irrigation scheduling in their operation. Anyone interested in attending this free event can register online by visiting http://www.californiawater.org/IrrigationTech or by calling (800) 845-6038; seating is limited. The next seminar will be held March 10, on Irrigation System Spring Cleaning and Maintenance. Additional Irrigation Tech Seminars have been scheduled for 2010 — visit http://www.californiawater.org/IrrigationTech to find out about upcoming event dates.

Working for over 25 years to improve irrigation efficiency, the Center for Irrigation Technology at Fresno State is internationally recognized as an independent testing laboratory, applied research facility and educational resource for water and irrigation technology. The Irrigation Tech Seminar Series is funded by the California Department of Water Resources.