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Pie Ranch: Irrigation Innovation

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Four members of the Pie Ranch senior project team pose for a photo

Team Members
Alexandra Hellman, Maddie Kerr, Sami Koire, Kate Salmon

Faculty Mentor
Sam Chiu

Pie ranch logo

The Client: Pie Ranch

Pie Ranch is non-profit farm in the Bay Area focused on promoting sustainability through its regional partnerships and educational programs. More specifically, it focuses on sustainable irrigation.

The Problem to Solve

Pie Ranch wants to improve its current water irrigation system to decrease water loss and optimize and improve the current manual labor required to maintain the irrigation system.

Engineering a Solution

Tools and Methodologies

The team Introduced a lateral arm irrigation system, which is an automated watering system that waters from above, allowing all crops to be evenly watered. The system will reduce water usage and labor so workers can perform other tasks on the farm. The team:

  • Determined the economic feasibility of this innovative irrigation system.
  • Collected data to determine what impact installing the lateral arm irrigation system would have.
  • Worked with Pie Ranch staff to understand their vision, contacted key stakeholders to acquire data, and performed in-depth cost-benefit analysis on the installation of the lateral arm system for irrigation.

Recommendation and Deliverables

The team provided the expected value of this system to Pie Ranch over the next 10 years.

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