Jul 24, 2009

Report: Efficiency the Key to California’s Water Future

Pacific Institute says efficiency will allow agricultural to flourish despite water shortage

The Pacific Institute recently released a report, “Sustaining California Agriculture in an Uncertain Future,” which shows that more efficient irrigation technologies and management can help California agriculture flourish despite diminishing water supply.

Although many farmers and irrigation districts have already been making water efficiency improvements, the report suggests that further expanding the use of efficient irrigation could lead to a potential water savings of 4.5 to 6 million acre-ft each year.

The report focuses on three areas of improvement:
&#149 Efficient irrigation technology—shifting from flood irrigation to sprinkler and drip systems;
&#149 Improved irrigation scheduling—using local soil and climate information to help farmers irrigate more precisely; and
&#149 Regulated deficit irrigation—irrigating less during drought-tolerant growth stages.

The full report is available online here.