Receive Grant Money to Fund Tule Sensors
author By Team Tule, December 17, 2015

Making it easy to apply for the SWEEP grant to offset costs of crop water stress and ET monitoring.

Are you applying for the 2016 State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program (SWEEP) Round I of funding? This round of funding will distribute up to $16 million to California growers investing in irrigation systems that reduce Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions and save water. There is a clear alignment between Tule Actual ET sensors and SWEEP’s priorities to address GHG emission reductions and water conservation. Tule sensors fit under the Project Type - Weather, Soil or Plant based sensors for irrigation scheduling.

Act fast! All applications must be submitted before January 8, 2016 at 5pm PST.

If you would like to include Tule sensors in your application:

  • Contact us for the necessary siting information in order to complete the Project Design and Budget Worksheet
  • See the details below for help in filling out the application (feel free to cut and paste)

More on program requirements and application details can be found at the CDFA SWEEP website.

Here are some guidelines for including Tule Actual ET sensors in your SWEEP grant application:


Water Conservation
Weather, Soil, or Plant based sensors for irrigation scheduling

Tule sensors measure actual evapotranspiration, crop water stress, and the quantity of irrigation applied to the field. Tule measures over a broad area with a hardware device installed in the field and above the plant canopy. Data is remotely sent to servers and presented to growers on an easy-to-use mobile app and desktop dashboard for making efficient irrigation decisions. Every day, growers receive the crop water status of their field and a site-specific irrigation recommendations based on ET to optimize water efficiency based on their crop production goals.


Description of proposed water use system

Tule is an irrigation management tool based on measuring actual evapotranspiration, crop water stress, and applied irrigation. Daily irrigation recommendations are provided based on crop type, phenological stage, actual ET, soil water holding capacity, and annual rainfall.
(NOTE: Growers will need to also show that water deliveries can be made on a consistent basis to accommodate scheduling based on ET)

Water use after project implementation

Use the USDA NRCS Field Office Technical Guide – Irrigation Water Savings Calculator to determine your water use before and after project implementation based on your site specific details. Tule sensors have been shown to reduce water use as much as 20% for some crop types and regions. However, this water savings varies greatly based on your current practices and proposed changes to your entire system. In the application guidelines, the CDFA suggests that deploying an advanced Irrigation Water Management (IWM) practice can result in savings up to 15%.

Provide a detailed explanation of how the proposed project will measure applied water after project implementation.

Along with other improvements deployed, Tule sensors use a pressure switch to measure the start and stop times of irrigation events. Amount of applied irrigation is then calculated using the designed system flow rate. This allows growers to easily check that their irrigation orders have been carried out as they had intended.


Project Design

Please contact us for a detailed siting plan for Tule sensors at your site. Initially, one sensor per irrigation management zone should be considered.

Budget Worksheet

Tule sensors fit under the Equipment section. The reporting timeline under the SWEEP program is 3 years and therefore, 3 years of service should be included with your application. However, we do recommend that this 3 years of service include some amount of matching funds depending on your full application (i.e. 50% match or use 2 years of service under Equipment and 1 year under Matching funds). Here’s an example for one sensor:
Equipment Matching Funds
Equipment Item Cost Description Cash In Kind
Tule Actual ET Sensor Software Service - 2 years $3000 Tule Actual ET Software Service - 1 year $825 $675
(Tule sensors currently fit under the USDA NRCS Payment Schedule Practice Code 449, IWM with weather station. The payment rate is $2966.82 - $3560.18 each. More info can be found here.)

Please contact us for a specific proposal based on the number of Tule sensors required at your ranch.