Common Good Water

Common Good Water

About us

Common Good Water began as a mission-driven business to increase the adoption of the most efficient irrigation systems on the highest water use crops. As alfalfa and other high-water use, flood-irrigated commodity crops grown in the arid Western US gained attention in the media, calls for fallowing land increased. Yet over the past couple of decades, the use of Netafim’s subsurface drip irrigation systems had been perfected for use on alfalfa and other commodity crops to reduce the agricultural water demand by 20-50% depending on the crop and region where the crop is grown.

The vision of Common Good Water was to break down the barriers to the adoption of subsurface drip irrigation by bringing together public (government) and private (corporate) funding to advance farmer adoption of modernized irrigation combined with best crop management practices. To drive public and private funding, water reduction benefits were measured, monitored, reported, and verified to attribute to funders, including environmental, economic, and social co-benefits. An example of one of Common Good Water’s benefit reports can be found here:

Subsurface drip irrigation offers the most precise and uniform application of nutrients and water to the crop root zone, resulting in the most efficient use of resources. This results in multiple benefits to farmers and communities.

Farmer Benefits

Reduce GHGs - Saves money on fertilizer costs because less fertilizer is required due to more precise and efficient application

 Improve water quality - Precision application of nutrients and water at the crop root zone maximizes crop yield and quality while minimizing resource use

Reduced nutrient and water application improves farm’s ability to stretch resources in a drought

Reduce energy - Saves money on energy use compared to other modernized irrigation because drip irrigation systems operate at low pressure

Reduce water - Can utilize less water which can also reduce energy required for pumping and treating water

Improve soil - Maintains optimal soil moisture conditions which supports root growth, nutrient availability, and overall plant health. Reduces soil disturbance from flood irrigation resulting in consistent moisture levels which enhances microbial activity in the soil.

Community Benefits

Reduce GHGs  - Reduced synthetic fertilizer application results in decreased emissions from fertilizer manufacturing and transportation

Improve water quality - Nutrients and water are targeted directly to the crop, which reduces air and water pollution often in disadvantaged communities

Water quality is improved because crops are the intended target for nutrients and water, minimizing leaching or runoff to water bodies

Reduce energy - Lower energy use indirectly reduces greenhouse gas emissions associated with energy production

Reduce water - Energy reduced in the water supply process indirectly lowers greenhouse gas emissions associated with energy production

Improve soil - Optimized soil moisture conditions improve the soil’s ability to sequester greenhouse gas emissions. Creates a favorable environment for beneficial soil microorganisms, supporting nutrient cycling and organic matter decomposition.

Common Good Water’s purpose

Common Good Water sought to demonstrate an alternative to fallowing land to reduce water and resource use while maintaining productive agricultural land. Digital farming tools, such as GrowSphere™, modernize the use of irrigation systems to precisely control application of resources, detect the need for repairs, and alert farmers to optimize their entire farming resource potential. These digital operating systems can also serve as a tool to support measurement and monitoring of on-farm outcomes important to funders. For example, public or private sector entities desiring to support interventions that can verify the reduction of water or other resources compared to the original (flood) method, can utilize digital farming tools to report on water demand reduction or other outcomes, helping to justify their investment in modernized irrigation systems, while helping increase affordability for farmers.

Common Good Water today

In 2023, Common Good Water became part of Netafim to advance and scale the vision and purpose of the organization, to:

  • Reduce agricultural water demand while helping maintain rural economies by keeping farmland in production using fewer resources on fewer acres.
  • Demonstrate that the way we choose to irrigate specific crops is what creates water demand challenges, and that fallowing cropland does not have to be the primary solution.
  • Upgrade a centuries-old culture of inefficient water extraction to one of accelerated water resilience, improving drought-burdened farming cultures, making them more sustainable while producing multiple beneficial impacts for the common good.
Common Good Water

Public / Private Collaboration for the Common Good

Under the leadership of Netafim, we bring funding to farmers to help increase the affordability of the initial investment in a subsurface drip irrigation system. Over time, farmers save on reduced resource use, and benefit from a modernized system that will be more resilient in extreme weather. There are US farmers utilizing Netafim subsurface drip irrigation systems for 30 years or more. When these systems are well-maintained, they support multiple crop rotations over decades.

Companies with sustainability goals such as “Water Positive by 2030,” or those seeking GHG reductions inside or outside their value chain can utilize conversions from flood irrigation to subsurface drip irrigation to generate positive outcomes that can be claimed against sustainability goals.

Private sector funding can be paired with public sector programs to help farmers upgrade their irrigation systems as well as pairing those upgrades with digital farming tools, enabling the next generation to farm leveraging the digital tools they demand while optimizing crop outcomes and resource use.

How it Works

  1. Our team works with government or corporate funders to identify locations, crops, and water demand reduction targets with volume and budget goals.
  2. We work with funders to estimate the annual minimum water savings resulting from the conversion to ensure conservative water reduction claims. 
  3. Netafim provides farmers with the system and access to competitive financing as well as a robust dealer network to design and install systems.
  4. Netafim and their dealers work directly with farmers to design and install systems, providing precision crop management best practices to optimize resource use and crop yields.
  5. Funders agree on verification method and term of water demand reduction or other outcomes.

A host of environmental, economic, and social benefits result from this conversion. These include improved water quality, increased carbon sequestration, reduced dust particulates, improved access to water in disadvantaged communities where wells are going dry from over pumping of groundwater, maintaining rural economies tied to agricultural production, and many more.

Capture more carbon, produce more oxygen

Capture more carbon, produce more oxygen

Create jobs to install & maintain

Create jobs to install & maintain

Greater yields, higher grade

Greater yields, higher grade

Taxes revive local economies

Taxes revive local economies

What to know more?

What to know more?

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