Topic: Agricultural Conservation

Overview

Agricultural Conservation

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).

Aquapedia background

Water Use Efficiency

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.”

Aquafornia news Steamboat Pilot & Today, Colorado

Sustainable grazing to stretch water supplies

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. 

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Sonoma County residents’ battle with wineries is about more than water

These days, the redwood-shaded creek by Laura and Ray Waldbaum’s house is a bone-dry path of rocks and gravel, its occasional stagnant pools a somber reminder of the salmon that once thrived there.

Aquafornia news Sacramento Business Journal

​Farmers, fighting back, say they’re unfairly blamed for worsening drought

California’s agricultural industry this week returned fire with a PR campaign that seeks to emphasize strides in conservation made by farmers in recent years.

Aquafornia news NPR

Squeezed by drought, California farmers switch to less thirsty crops (with audio)

Water scarcity is driving California farmers to plant different crops. Growers are switching to more profitable, less-thirsty fruits, vegetables and nuts. 

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Ranchers sue over rule giving Feds authority on state water

Ranchers in New Mexico, California and Washington state have challenged a new Obama administration rule giving federal agencies authority to protect some streams and wetlands.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Apps help farmers with efficiency during the drought (with audio)

As the drought continues and the weather heats up, California farmers are grappling with how to allocate dwindling water supplies.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Jerry Brown defends drought order that doesn’t limit farmers

Gov. Jerry Brown on Sunday defended his order requiring Californians statewide to cut back on their water use in a historic mandate that spares those who consume the most – farmers.

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

Oakdale Irrigation District considers water exports, filling board vacancy

The [Oakdale] irrigation board on Tuesday could begin approving deals with farmers willing to idle their land and sell the water that would have been used there.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Tulare’s World Ag Expo, Day 2: Water conservation for sale

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.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Conservation, efficiency and environment part of this year’s Colusa Farm Show (with audio)

The most popular new technology? Drip tape. 

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Sonoma County vinters commit to sustainability (with audio)

Farms were assessed on more than 100 criteria including energy efficiency, drip irrigation and pest management.

Aquafornia news Monterey County Herald

EcoFarm kicks off 35th year with climate change talk

EcoFarm, the premier organic and sustainable agriculture gathering in the West, is jam-packed with talks related to lack of water over its four days.

Aquafornia news Santa Cruz Sentinel

Midwestern journalist sees convergence of tech, food

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.

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

SSJID wins global award for farm water conservation

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.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Commentary: Mendocino Wine Co. saves water, earns raves

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.

Aquafornia news Water | Food | Environment — The Blog of David Guy

Blog: Thinking about the future of farming

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.

Western Water Magazine

Keeping It Down on the Farm: Agricultural Water Use Efficiency
March/April 2012

This printed issue of Western Water examines agricultural water use – its successes, the planned state regulation to quantify its efficiency and the potential for greater savings.

Publication

Layperson’s Guide to Water Conservation
Updated 2002

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.

Video

Shaping of the West: 100 Years of Reclamation

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.

Western Water Excerpt Gary PitzerRita Schmidt Sudman

Keeping It Down on the Farm: Agricultural Water Use Efficiency
March/April 2012

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.

Maps & Posters

San Joaquin River Restoration Map
Published 2012

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. 

Agricultural Conservation
Aquapedia background

Agricultural Conservation

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.

Commands