The International Center for Water Technology (ICWT) at California State University, Fresno, is partnering with industry to launch a major solar initiative this summer to encourage water users to utilize solar energy to pump water.

ICWT signed a memorandum of understanding to work with energy industry leader WorldWater Corp. on the initiative. The MOU was signed at a reception at CSUF following the dedication of a 50-horsepower solar irrigation pump system at the D.T. Locke Ranch in Mendota, Calif.

The ICWT solar Initiative will encourage farmers, water districts and other agricultural water users to utilize solar energy to pump a significant amount of their annual irrigation water during peak electrical usage periods using new technology provided by WorldWater and other firms.

The new ICWT Initiative by ICWT will focus on the following six major objectives:

  • Reducing and/or shifting peak water pumping energy demands.

  • Promoting small-scale distributed generation in agricultural areas of utility grids that are transmission constrained.

  • Promoting renewable energy as an alternative to energy sources that have a significant negative impact on the environment.

  • Educating farmers and water purveyors about programs and incentive-rebates that produce a favorable economic climate for the adoption of solar power water pumping systems.

  • Encouraging and investigating the use of water and irrigation technology that is energy efficient.

  • Providing for a more informed decision making process for farmers and water purveyors to reduce overall water and energy consumption, where ever possible.