As the single largest water-consuming industry, agriculture has become a focal point for efforts to promote water conservation. The drive for water use efficiency has become institutionalized in agriculture through numerous federal, state and local programs. Since the 1980s, some water districts serving agricultural areas have developed extensive water conservation programs to help their customers (From Aquapedia).
The message is oft-repeated that water must be conserved and used as wisely as possible.
The California Water Code calls water use efficiency “the efficient management of water resources for beneficial uses, preventing waste, or accomplishing additional benefits with the same amount of water.”
Beginning in 2015, the Nature Conservancy committed four hay fields comprising 197 acres at the Carpenter Ranch to a multi-state pilot project conceived to determine how irrigated hay fields in the region would respond to being temporarily left fallow in order to leave more water flowing in the Yampa River. The stronger summer flows would support habitat and help to replenish the vast reservoirs of the Southwest that supply water to cities in Arizona, Nevada and Southern California.
In this new data-driven age, sensors are used to determine how much water a plant or tree needs or if the right amount of nutrients are being applied. Weather data is also available to give growers real-time information.
Last month, I packed up my household vegetable garden in Fargo, N.D., about 2,000 miles to the northeast of California’s Central Coast. … I’d visited Salinas this summer, as an agricultural journalist among a tour group of writers and bloggers.
Irrigation experts from around the world think highly of a water-saving project on Ripon-area farmland. The International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage, meeting last month in Gwangju, South Korea, presented its annual WatSave Technology Award to the South San Joaquin Irrigation District.
In his first career, Tim Thornhill stuck about 4,000 tensiometers – instruments that measure soil moisture and thereby help regulate irrigation – into the earth as he developed botanical gardens around the country.
On the heels of a successful Farm to Fork weekend in Sacramento, we have another opportunity to think about the future of farming. In the Sacramento Valley, the farmers are not only producing a commodity in the traditional economic sense, they are also the leading conservationists in the region, developing innovative 21st century projects and programs that will benefit salmon, migratory waterfowl and other birds, flood protection, as well as provide the pastoral settings that urbanites are craving in our increasingly frantic and busy environment we live.
The 24-page Layperson’s Guide to Water Conservation discusses how what was once just a response to drought has become part of everyday life for all Westerners in recognition of a key fact: water conservation is important every year, not just in drought years.
30-minute DVD that traces the history of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and its role in the development of the West. Includes extensive historic footage of farming and the construction of dams and other water projects, and discusses historic and modern day issues.
There are two constants regarding agricultural water use – growers will continue to come up with ever more efficient and innovative ways to use water and they will always be pressed to do more.
It’s safe to say the matter will not be settled anytime soon, given all the complexities that are a part of the water use picture today. While officials and stakeholders grapple to find a lasting solution to California’s water problems that balances environmental and economic needs, those who grow food and fiber for a living do so amid a host of challenges.
This beautiful 24×36 inch poster, suitable for framing, features a map of the San Joaquin River. The map text focuses on the San Joaquin River Restoration Program, which aims to restore flows and populations of Chinook salmon to the river below Friant Dam to its confluence with the Merced River. The text discusses the history of the program, its goals and ongoing challenges with implementation.
As the single largest water-consuming industry, agriculture has become a focal point for efforts to promote water conservation. In turn, discussions about agricultural water use often become polarized.
With this in mind, the drive for water use efficiency has become institutionalized in agriculture through numerous federal, state and local programs.