GE, Winesecrets and UC Davis plan on making wine – with recycled rainwater

California’s agriculture industry is carrying on with its preparations to brace itself for months of intense deluge, pursued by a longer period of scarcity and dearth. With that in mind, wine industry solutions provider, Winesecrets, and the University of California Davis (UC Davis) have joined forces with GE (General Electric) to spearhead an ingenious project to work with collected rainwater in wine production. Rather than consuming water fresh from the original springhead, this experimental program explores an unprecedented method in contributing the required wash water in the process of making wine.


Jess S. Jackson Sustainable Winery where GE and Winesecrets help the winery recycle rainwater for wine production.

By equipping the program with their Total Organic Carbon (TOC) analyzer as well as Reverse Osmosis (RO) systems, GE’s Water & Process Technologies is delving into an innovative and creative method of using extant technologies with state-of-the-art facilities to be used in a fresh manner. This allows the experimental project, located in UC Davies, to have better mastery over its water as it would not have to lean on the original water sources and its changeable accessibility and conditions. The winery’s dependence on stored water rather than water provided by the municipality would also give them an ample advantage notably in times of drought or districts with complicated water rights.

Currently, the winery treats approximately 7,000 gallons of water per day. Rainwater is naturally cleaner than sources that come through the ground, lakes and rivers as it holds much less mineral content, not only making it easier to filter, but also bringing down the overall cost of treatment while also rendering the process more sustainable and environmentally friendly. The water is gathered on several campus rooftops and, after treatment, is used to cleanse the winery’s equipment and tanks. 

The system that captures the rainwater moves the water through downspouts to a 1,200-gallon holding tank which runs the water through a 50-micron media filter. After that, the water is drained into two 45,000-gallon tanks for storage that push it into the water treatment system. There, the RO systems would purify the rainwater into a level that is potable and remove impurities like pollution, bacteria and toxins. The TOC analyzer would then evaluate the water quality and ensure that it meets the recommended quality constantly.


GE Water and Process Technologies RO System and TOC Analyzer purifies the rainwater to a potable level

By joining the RO and TOC technologies, the project has the power to immeasurably increase the efforts the industry is making for sustainability, especially in places looking for substitute sources of water.