Deep cracks in the soil of some Napa Valley vineyards are swallowing up precious irrigation water. Stanford researchers estimate water losses could exceed 10 percent, but are working with growers on ways to stanch the outflow.
“We found that about 10 percent of the water that is applied is lost below the vine rooting zone and does not have contact with the soil and vine roots,” said Eve Hinckley, who worked on the project for her doctoral thesis in the department of geological and environmental sciences at Stanford. “This is a conservative estimate.”
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