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Water in the News

August 19, 2014

Can utilities make friends with conservation?
Water Online

The downside of water conservation is that it hurts water utilities, which are already struggling to stay afloat. “The need for more reliable revenue is more important than ever, as water service providers contend with prolonged droughts and aging infrastructure. Unfortunately, this need for revenue can make conservation the unwanted stepchild of water utilities,” according to an editorial published by National Geographic. Does it have to be that way? Maybe not.

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Keeping nutrients in the field and out of tile lines
Dairy Herd Management

By definition, drainage water management is the practice of managing water discharged from subsurface agricultural systems via a water control structure at the end of a conventional drainage system. It functions as an in-line dam, allowing the outlet to be artificially set at levels ranging from the soil surface to the bottom of the drain. These structures create a variety of options for producers and can artificially raise the water table in a field when water is scarce and are used before liquid manure applications are made, reducing the risk of manure entering surface water through tile lines.

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‘USDA-approved’ conservation innovation
The Huffington Post

Paying farmers to store carbon in untilled prairie. Stimulating demand for wooden “plyscrapers.” Creating markets for nutrient and temperature credits. This is not your grandparents’ Department of Agriculture. At a White House meeting and industry conference, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack is promoting innovative opportunities for private investment in rural America. The White House Rural Council’s Rural Opportunity Investing conference is an attempt to attract investors to investment opportunities in biofuels, wastewater, sustainable timber and local and regional food systems.

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Center pivot does not always mean efficiency
AgriLife Today

Identifying, but more importantly, gaining adoption of the most efficient irrigation systems is an important step in water conservation within agriculture, according to a recent study conducted by Texas A&M AgriLife Research. The study, in partnership with the Texas Alliance for Water Conservation, determined that producers who were not using low energy precision application, or LEPA, sprinkler systems were leaving as much as $100 per acre behind.

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‘Settling the waters’ may be tool for addressing water conservation, runoff issues in Delta
Delta Farm Press

Could a material called polyacrylamide or PAM become one of the tools that could help Mississippi Delta growers address the issues of a declining Delta alluvial aquifer and nutrient runoff into the Mississippi River and the Gulf of Mexico? The Delta Sustainable Water Resources Task Force and the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service are working to determine if it can. Those organizations and several farmers and companies are working with PAM to try to determine if the compound could address those issues and help improve crop yields.

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