Water Tech For Agriculture

AgTech: WSU Wins National Award for Water-Saving Research

Water scarcity one of the toughest challenges predicted for the 21st century is being addressed by Washington State University. As part of a multistate research program, WSU is among 19 land-grant universities honored recently for efforts to help farmers irrigate land more efficiently, especially during droughts and water shortages.

"A safe, reliable supply of water is inextricably linked to food security," said Sonny Ramaswamy, director of the U.S. Department of Agricultures National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA).

"The five-fold increase in irrigated acres that took place during the 20th century cannot be repeated in the 21st century there isnt the space," he said. "Instead, we must increase efficiency of the irrigated farmland we have, and that is what this project is doing."

The national Micro irrigation for Sustainable Water Use W-2128 research program was presented the 2014 Experiment Station Section Excellence in Multistate Research Award by NIFA and the Experiment Station Committee on Organization and Policy at the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities annual meeting in Orlando, Fla.

The award recognizes outstanding efforts of researchers and extension specialists who have come together to tackle a priority issue that no one institution can address on its own.

More crop per drop

Irrigation systems that apply high volumes of water over wide areas can lose a lot to runoff, wind and evaporation, which results in over or under watered plants. In contrast, micro irrigation systems reduce water waste and can produce more crop per drop.

These systems use special timers, sensors and a network of narrow tubes to deliver the right amount of water and nutrients to plants at the right time.

Micro irrigation decreases contaminants carried to surface water and groundwater and can improve the quality of agricultural crops.

In the last five years, the W-2128 micro irrigation research program has led to new equipment and tools that are easier to install, more durable and more precise. Engaging farmers around these advances has encouraged adoption of micro irrigation systems and led to significant economic and environmental impacts.

Source : https://news.wsu.edu/
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