Water resources, at global, regional and local levels are now recognised to be under severe pressure. Sustainable use of water has now become a societal, environmental, industry and business imperative across the globe, and a core policy for many governments, industries and commercial entities. Increasingly, social licence shall be dependent on the sound environmental credentials of all players in the supply chain, with sustainable water use as a leading theme.
Many vineyard areas in more recently developed, semi-arid or arid regions have annual rainfall which cannot reliably support modern viticultural systems. Meanwhile, in other long-established systems, rainfall quantity and reliability has become inadequate or unreliable, making it difficult to meet supply chain demands for quality and supply assurance.
Production systems have been further differentiated and adapted in the light of local conditions and resource availability (including water), informed by experience and relevant R&D, and according to the requirements of continually evolving markets.
In this sense, the “Sustainable Use of Water in Winegrape Vineyards” document is intended to outline key, universally relevant principles specific to the activity of growing Winegrape vineyards, bearing in mind that variability in regional resource and environmental considerations, site characteristics and enterprise circumstances may be substantial, so requiring adaptation in practice to individual circumstances.
The document has been drafted by the Viticulture Commission’s “Vine Protection and Viticultural Techniques” (PROTEC) Group and revised by other OIV Commissions.