July Is Smart Irrigation Month

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July is typically the month when the most water is used for landscape irrigation. This can account for 50 to 80 percent of the water used in a home during summer months. Much of this is often wasted through selection of improper plant materials and/or inefficient landscape watering practices -- including runoff.

As a result, the Irrigation Association (IA) has named July Smart Irrigation Month to draw attention to use of efficient irrigation technologies and practices.

The High Plains Water District (HPWD) is celebrating this month by sharing tips to help homeowners reduce the amount of water used outdoors.

You can save water in your landscape by implementing some of these practices:

  • Conduct an annual irrigation audit to make sure your system is working efficiently.

  • Replace water-intensive plants with drought-tolerant or native varieties.

  • Use smart technologies to help manage water use. Rain sensors, soil moisture probes, and smart controllers can help you with water management decisions.

  • Water deeply and less frequently to make your turf more resistant to drought and/or foot traffic.

  • Install a rainwater harvesting system to offset your use of groundwater or municipal water supplies.

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Smart Irrigation Month is not just for homeowners. The Irrigation Association also has some helpful tips for agricultural producers.

  • Take advantage of cost-share programs, such as the USDA-NRCS Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP).

  • Minimize irrigation water runoff (“tailwater”) from fields.

  • Use telemetry equipment to improve irrigation scheduling.

  • Improve soil management to improve water infiltration and reduce runoff.

“It is important to make sure irrigation systems are properly operated and maintained,” says High Plains Water District Manager Jason Coleman.  “This not only saves money—but it can help reduce waste of the region’s surface water and groundwater resources.  The High Plains Water District encourages persons to use water wisely without waste each day,” he says.

Additional information about Smart Irrigation Month is available at the Irrigation Association’s website (irrigation.org)

 

RCPP Cost-Share Funding Still Available To Producers

 Producers in the Panhandle-South Plains region are reminded that cost-share funding is still available for installation of irrigation system monitoring equipment, soil moisture probes, and other irrigation management equipment through the USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service's Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP).
 
Approximately $600,000 is available for the remainder of the program, which ends in 2018.
 
Participation in RCPP is entirely voluntary. Interested producers can sign up for the program at their local USDA-NRCS service center. Additional information about RCPP is available at https://tinyurl.com/nv7vkms. USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.
 
In addition, be sure to visit www.hpwd.org/rcpp for information about eligible equipment, estimated payment rates, a contact list of USDA-NRCS Service Centers, and a map illustrating the 29 counties participating in RCPP.
 
High Plains Underground Water Conservation District (HPWD) in Lubbock serves as the lead RCPP partner. Supporting partners include Hemphill County UWCD in Canadian, Llano Estacado UWCD at Seminole, Mesa UWCD at Lamesa, North Plains GCD at Dumas, Sandy Land UWCD at Plains, and South Plains UWCD at Brownfield.
 
These groundwater conservation districts do not receive any funding for the program, but provide in-kind services to assist with water conservation efforts.