Skip to main content

Irrigation Evaluation and Efficiency

May contain: clothing, pants, adult, female, person, woman, male, man, accessories, and glasses

Irrigation efficiency is a critical measure of irrigation performance in terms of the water required to irrigate a
field, farm, basin, irrigation district, or an entire watershed. The value of irrigation efficiency and its definition are
important to the societal views of irrigated agriculture and its benefit in supplying the high quality, abundant food
supply required to meet our growing world’s population. “Irrigation efficiency” is a basic engineering term used in
irrigation science to characterize irrigation performance, evaluate irrigation water use, and to promote better or
improved use of water resources, particularly those used in agriculture and turf/landscape management.[


The Mobile Irrigation Lab (MIL) is a service that provides on-site evaluations of individual irrigation systems. Based on these evaluations, a Mobile Lab technician can work with growers to develop irrigation water management plans tailored to their individual needs. The plans include recommendations to improve system performance, such as developing a maintenance plan and revising irrigation schedules.

Through this service, growers learn to operate their systems more effectively and to save water in the process. By implementing an irrigation water management plan and operating an efficient irrigation system, growers often see reduced water and power consumption as well as increased crop yield. 

This is a voluntary, confidential and non-regulatory approach to water conservation. Once the five MIL assessments are taken, CSLRCD can provide you with the same service but on a fee-for-service basis. See Professional Services.

Improving your Distribution Uniformity and irrigation scheduling can result in the following:

  • Increased Crop Yield
  • Lower Energy Costs
  • Reduced Water Usage
  • Reduced Pollution and Runoff
  • Lower Pesticide Costs
  • Lower Fertilizer Costs
  • Regulatory Compliance


County of San Luis Obispo (maximum 5 MILS per year)

RCD Contact:

Lindsay Ringer,


The State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program (SWEEP) provides financial assistance in the form of grants to implement irrigation systems that reduce greenhouse gases and save water on California agricultural operations.

What types of projects are eligible? Eligible system components include (among others) soil moisture monitoring, drip systems, switching to low-pressure irrigation systems, pump retrofits, variable frequency drives and installation of renewable energy to reduce on-farm water use and energy.

The Coastal San Luis Resource Conservation District (CSLRCD) has received funding to provide workshops and assistance to growers who are interested in applying for a SWEEP project.


San Luis Obispo County Farm Bureau


CA Dept. of Food & Agriculture

RCD Contact:

Lindsay Ringer,