Today is United Nations World Water Day 2016, promoting awareness of serious regional water shortages around the world and the search for solutions to the critical threats these scarce water supplies pose to humanity. The Toro Company, headquartered in Bloomington, MN, is a worldwide leader in the development of innovative water-preservation technologies for turf and agricultural irrigation applications. In recognition of the company’s commitment to driving water sustainability, Toro was invited to the nation’s capital today to participate in the White House Water Summit.
“It is gratifying whenever our highly efficient water-saving irrigation innovations are recognized, and it is certainly an honor to have been invited to attend the White House Water Summit to help bring attention to important water sustainability issues and ongoing efforts to protect this vital resource,” said Michael Hoffman, Toro’s chairman and chief executive officer. “At Toro, we take pride in our contributions to the development of products that have proven to help our turf, landscape and agricultural customers apply water more efficiently, thus reducing consumption and conserving this precious resource. It’s through our leading innovations and varied partnerships that we can help make a difference through education and by providing practical solutions.”
Protecting water resources for future generations and ensuring availability for people around the world requires partnership, innovation and education from many stakeholder groups. Having started in the irrigation business in 1923, Toro has maintained its commitment to developing innovative irrigation solutions to help care for golf courses, sports fields, public green spaces, agricultural fields, and commercial and residential properties.
The following are some of the ways Toro is helping future efforts in water conservation and efficiency:
- Recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as the 2015 WaterSense® Partner of the Year for contributions in product innovations to improve water efficiency, Toro was the first large irrigation product manufacturer to receive the honor.
- Since 2014, Toro has partnered with the Wyland Foundation® to raise awareness on the importance of efficient water use through community events, tradeshows and school outreach – including the National Mayor’s Challenge, where cities and residents compete for most “water wise.”
- Toro’s patented and award-winning Precision™ Series Spray Nozzles easily retrofit existing irrigation systems and apply water more efficiently to deliver up to 30% savings in outdoor water use.
- Originally developed and funded by Western Municipal Water District and Riverside Public Utilities in 2010, the www.FreeSprinklerNozzles.com program has expanded to include 28 California water agencies serving over 75 different communities. With over 1.2 million Toro Precision Series Spray Nozzles redeemed so far, water agencies estimate that the potential to save water exceeds 7.8 billion gallons of water over a five-year period.
- Toro’s award-winning EVOLUTION® irrigation controller enables wireless connectivity to weather sensors and soil moisture sensors to automatically adjust irrigation system runtimes based on weather and soil conditions.
- The award-winning Precision™ Soil Sensor helps homeowners maximize water use efficiency by preventing scheduled irrigation cycles from running when water is not needed.
- In 2015, Toro introduced “The Water Zone” weekly radio show in Southern California to address state’s drought situation, provide an informational platform for water agencies, and educate listeners on products and practices to help improve outdoor water use efficiency.
- Toro’s PrecisionSense™ site assessment technology received the 2013 Tekne Award in agricultural technology by the Minnesota High Tech Association, along with Best New Product in the golf category in 2011 by the Irrigation Association. The patented system measures the variability of key site attributes – including soil moisture, salinity, compaction and plant performance – to help customers improve water and resource efficiency, and produce healthy turf.
- A longtime partner of the Environmental Institute for Golf (EIFG), the philanthropic arm of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America, Toro has donated more than $1.8 million to help support scientific turfgrass research and education.
- Toro’s Turf Guard® wireless soil monitoring system measures soil moisture, temperature and salinity to help golf and grounds customers make informed decisions on when and how much to water.
- Toro’s newest sprinkler heads have vastly improved nozzle performance to maximize distribution uniformity that reduces the need to apply excess water.
- In the agricultural market, which uses roughly 70% of the world’s fresh water withdrawals, Toro has partnered with The Western Growers Association to support the organization’s new Technology and Innovation Center, and to help educate and train existing and next-generation farmers to improve on-farm irrigation efficiency.
- Helping large and small growers globally, Toro’s Micro-Irrigation Business introduced Small Farm Drip Irrigation Kits to promote agriculture as a tool to fight hunger, malnutrition and poverty in developing countries around the world. In early February of 2016, the Micro-Irrigation team helped install the first Toro drip kit in Uganda.
- For decades, Toro’s Blue Stripe® hose and Aqua-Traxx® drip tape have been trusted by farmers worldwide in helping increase water use efficiency and yields. These products, along with others, greatly improve water use efficiency by evenly applying water slowly and directly to the targeted plant’s root zone. As a result, crop yields, quality and resource use efficiency are improved, environmental degradation avoided, and water waste minimized.
- Toro’s patented Aqua-Traxx® Flow Control (FC) drip tape is the latest advancement in the evolution of precision drip irrigation. As the only Flow Control drip tape available, it provides more control and uniformity when irrigating crops.
- Toro Micro-Irrigation is a leader and active member of many organizations supporting efficient irrigation, including the California Ag Irrigation Association (CAIA), the California Irrigation Institute (CII), the Irrigation Association (IA), the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE), and the American Society of Agronomy (ASA) among others.
- Toro’s award-winning Drip Irrigation Owner’s Manual helps educate growers of row, field and permanent crops about the proper design, installation, operation and maintenance of drip irrigation systems and complements Toro’s AquaFlow design software and Drip Irrigation Payback Wizard.
More information on Toro’s efforts in water efficiency can be found at www.toro.com/irrigationefficiency.