Irrigation Association annual conference recap: ‘Water for the Future: The Role of Efficient Irrigation’

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From Lawn and Landscape (Brian Vinchesi):

This year’s water conference was titled: “Water for the Future: The Role of Efficient Irrigation.” The two-day conference was moderated by Mary Lou Smith from the Colorado Water Institute at Colorado State University. The conference drew a wide range of participants, including farmers, design professionals, government agencies, association representatives, lawyers, national corporations and irrigation contractors and consultants.

The conference also included two pre-conference sessions. Of interest to the landscape industry was the one titled “Integrated Water Management for Buildings and Grounds.” This half-day seminar outlined the theory and applicability of having a “net-zero” building. A net-zero building involves having all water and energy be produced by the building and then used by the building or returns the same amount of water and energy it takes externally back to its source. From the irrigation side, this means using captured rainwater, stormwater, recycled water and air conditioning condensate as well as solar powered controllers and, in some cases, pumps. From a landscape side: native or low water use plants, green roofs, bioswale, green walls and porous pavers are important components.

The conference format consisted of general sessions on water policy and future irrigation issues while breakout sessions on specialized subjects were utilized for both agriculture and landscape stakeholders. The general sessions included an opening session by IBM on groundbreaking technologies in water management and a presentation on “Conservation Partnerships: Promoting Healthy Fisheries through Efficient Irrigation” by Trout Unlimited. This presentation outlined success stories where fish habitat was conserved as well as water while the farmer or urban area still received enough water to grow crops or provide services.

More conservation coverage here.

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