A Pivotal Technology

| It’s fascinating to consider inventions that have shaped 20th-century American culture, such as the electric light bulb, the automobile, and the personal computer. Irrigation technology has also shifted our cultural landscape—specifically center pivot irrigation—by nourishing vast fields of circular crops across the American Midwest. Records show that in the early 1900s midwestern farmers began pumping ... READ MORE

Greener Grounds, Greener Business

| Mark Hurd, grounds and irrigation foreman for the Davis School District, Utah’s second largest, has seen a lot of changes in irrigation technology in the three decades he’s been doing his job. But as of late, he’s noticed them developing at warp speed. ... READ MORE

Soil Water Sensors

| SOIL MOISTURE MONITORING CAN be useful as an irrigation management tool for both landscapes and agriculture, sometimes replacing an evapotranspiration-based (ET) approach or as a useful check on ET-based approaches since the latter tend to drift off target over time. All moisture sensors, also known as soil water sensors, measure a response to some soil property that is related to water content. ... READ MORE

Incentivized Conservation

| Farmers in Colorado’s San Luis Valley raise potatoes, alfalfa, barley, and quinoa. But the arid, 8,000-square-mile area between the San Juan and Sangre de Cristo mountain ranges only receives an average of 7 inches of rainfall each year. So for decades, farmers have irrigated their fields from the subsurface groundwater. In the early 2000s, when ... READ MORE

Irrigating With Non-Potable Water

| Not so long ago, it seemed that there would always be plenty of fresh water to go around. Parents filled up and emptied inflatable swimming pools, children played in lawn sprinklers for hours, and cars were washed in driveways every Saturday without so much as a moment's hesitation. Water seemed like one of the most abundant resources on earth. In reality, however, only 1% of the world's water is suitable for consumption. And to make matters worse, the world's population in 2010 had grown so large that ... ... READ MORE

Optimizing Irrigation

| Commercial growers, property managers, and landscapers can attest to how sophisticated and beneficial irrigation monitoring has become in terms of optimizing water consumption and plant growth, and maximizing operational profitability. Two examples from California—where much of the nation's food supply is produced but where water availability remains a critical public policy issue—illustrate how irrigation monitoring and control systems can serve as a valuable business tool. ... READ MORE