Irrigation Association has partnered with a number of stakeholders in a collaborative research project to advance water-efficient technologies and best practices.
The association announced on April 27 that the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR) provided the group with a $5 million grant. IA and the other members of the Irrigation Innovation Consortium matched those dollars for a total investment of $10 million. The investment will fund research and collaboration costs over the next five years.
“The Consortium is intended to function equally in both irrigated landscapes and irrigated agriculture as a research, demonstration and training opportunity,” Stephen Smith, owner of Buena Vida Farm and Wade Water LLC, told Colorado Lawn & Landscape. Smith will serve as the consortium’s first executive director.
“We want to effect technology transfers at an increased rate for practitioners,” Smith said. He noted that IA’s Irrigation Foundation will hold its 2018 landscape and agriculture Faculty Academy events in Colorado in June.
The consortium will be based in Fort Collins. The executive committee will comprise FFAR and IA, as well as California State University, Fresno; Colorado State University; Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute at the University of Nebraska; Kansas State Research and Extension, Kansas State University; and Texas A&M AgriLife Research
In addition to the executive committee, consortium members include Jain Irrigation, Lindsay Corporation, Northern Water and Rubicon Water.
Rubicon noted that early research priorities will focus on ” water and energy efficiency, remote sensing and big data applications for improving water management, irrigation technology acceleration and technology transfer,” according to a statement.