This post will be the first in a series of 4 blog posts which will focus on recent events related to Toro’s efforts at the state and national level to improve water and resource use efficiency. This series was prompted by the recent introduction to Congress of the California Emergency Drought Relief Act, a bill that specifically includes a provision to accelerate the adoption of drip irrigation in agriculture for conservation and groundwater recharge. The bill is the product of months of meetings between Senator Feinstein and her staff, federal, state and local officials, environmental groups, water districts and other stakeholders, including The Toro Company.
On Thursday, April 16, Governor Brown convened a second summit with representatives from major state water users in Sacramento including the building, hospitality, golf, retail, cemetery and pool and spa industries.
Inge Bisconer, past president of the California Irrigation Institute, and California Agricultural Irrigation Association (CAIA) member, represented CAIA and was successful in communicating an important message:
According to the USDA’s 2013 Farm and Ranch Irrigation Survey, over a third of California’s irrigated acres have been converted to drip irrigation, another 20% to sprinklers, and over half of the nation’s drip irrigated acres are in California.
Bisconer went on to report that while this is significant progress, there is opportunity to improve water and resource use efficiency on potentially hundreds of thousands of acres of fruit, nut and vegetable crops, and potentially millions of acres of field crops that are currently gravity irrigated and that have been shown to be worthy of the investment in improved irrigation technology.
Bisconer emphasized the need for education and outreach to California’s farm community to make this a reality, and pledged CAIA’s support to the Brown administration in this endeavor.
See excerpts of Bisconer’s comments in the Sacramento news10 story that aired following the event: