Analysis reveals new irrigation tech could save Californian agriculture sector $9.75 billion over 5 years
Latest in smart irrigation to cut labor, electricity costs and save 1.33 trillion gallons of water resources, improving climate resilience
SONOMA COUNTY, Calif., August 30, 2023 -- A new analysis from Lumo, a Smart Agtech company that supports growers and tackles water challenges head on using the most advanced water technology available, reveals that irrigation technology could save Californian farmers $9.75 billion in labor and electricity costs – and a staggering 1.33 trillion gallons of water – over the next five years.
Lumo’s technology, which is already installed in select areas of 42 locations that represent a combined total of 150,000 acres, could cut $1.75 billion dollars in labor and $200 million in electricity per year if it was installed across all five million acres of specialty crop agricultural land in California, according to the new figures.
The analysis, which comes three months before the start of the COP28 summit in the United Arab Emirates, also shows how new irrigation technology could save 266.8 billion gallons of water each year across California – the equivalent annual water consumption of 2.67 million homes – protecting water resources and the environment.
Table: Potential Savings Using Irrigation Technology for Californian Agriculture
|Saving over 5 years
|Combined labor and electricity savings
|266.8 billion gallons
|1.33 trillion gallons
Source: Lumo analysis
The company launched in 2022 and has since grown rapidly, securing 17 major customers across 42 farms including Wente, Clos Du Val, Pine Ridge, Spottswoode, Price Family, and two of the top five largest global wine growers. Lumo has raised $3.9 million in pre-seed funding to date, led by Fall Line Capital, a VC focused on farmland and sustainable agriculture technologies. Lumo is backed by an advisory board of notable Agtech executives, VCs and viticulturists that are helping the company accelerate all critical areas of the business.
“We aim to provide revolutionary technology that takes a more sustainable approach to outdated irrigation systems, and as we grow and gather more irrigation data from our customers, we can make our product more powerful and impactful,” says Devon Wright, Lumo CEO and Founder. “While the wine industry has been quick to adopt smart irrigation technology, there are so many opportunities for other agricultural sectors to follow suit - not just in California, but across the US. We hope this awareness of cost, time, and water savings will push growers to take the leap in adopting this technology to reduce costs and protect the planet too.”
Lumo's solution has emerged as a disruptive force in the irrigation industry. The Lumo One smart valve – a plug-and-play device that measures flow, consumption, and takes care of water application according to the grower's irrigation plan – was developed by members of the Lumo team who immersed themselves in the agricultural landscape by working alongside growers. The Lumo One smart valve is backed by around the clock customer service support through Field Partners who are responsible for taking care of clients' onsite needs.
“Lumo’s smart irrigation technology has really changed the game for us in the wine industry. The most important aspect of irrigation automation is the ability to deliver water automatically at any time of day or night. Most vineyards still irrigate analog where a person has to open and close the valves, but with Lumo’s technology, we have a high level of control and can do multiple irrigation sets a week,” says Ryan Decker, Viticulture & Grower Relations Manager at Clos Du Val. “With the data Lumo provides we are able to reduce costs and inefficiencies, allowing us to optimize our crop for each intended use.”
On a global basis, the UN is predicting a 40% shortfall in freshwater resources by 2030 and with irrigation accounting for 70% of total fresh water used globally, it's now more important than ever for the agricultural industry to leverage modern technology to protect one of the world's most precious natural resources by becoming more efficient and accountable.
Clarity for Lumo
VP of Marketing, Lumo
- Labor savings of $350/acre/year: Conservative estimates show that Lumo saves growers $50 per acre per month on irrigation labor. There are typically 7 months of irrigation season in California, = $350 per year ($50x7), per acre.
- Energy reduction costs: savings $40/acre/year. Irrigating at off peak hours can save approximately $50/acre. Approximately 80% of irrigated acres use electrical pumps. Therefore $50*80% = $40.
- Water savings of 53,361/acre/year: Lumo saves growers 30% of their water usage. Growers use on average 5.5 gallons per vine, with an average of 1100 vines per acre. Therefore in 1 month (4.2 weeks) 25,410 gallons are used. In one year = 177,870 gallons (25,410 x 7 months of irrigation). 30% of this number is 53,361 gallons = the amount saved each year, per acre.
- The average US household uses 100,000 gallons of water a year (source: EPA). 266,805,000,000 gallons / 100,000 = the equivalent of 2,668,050 households.
Lumo is a Smart AgTech company that supports growers and tackles water challenges head on using the most advanced water technology available today. The Lumo One smart valve allows growers to precisely control and measure how much water is applied to their crops at all times, reducing labor costs, excess water usage and eliminating the irrigation guesswork. We're proud of what we've built at Lumo and the prestigious growers who have become our friends and customers. Our team takes great pride in working to help growers conserve their most precious resources - time, money and water. Learn more by visiting lumo.ag.