conserve water (33)

28 Aug 2018

Identifying Opportunities to Promote Water Conservation Practices among Nursery and Greenhouse Growers

Warner, L.A., Lamm, A.J., Beattie, P., Fisher, P.R. (University of Florida), and S.A. White (Clemson University)

In this study we assessed knowledge level of U.S. greenhouse and nursery growers about eight water conservation technologies and examined the rate at which growers had adopted and continued their use. Overall, greater levels of knowledge corresponded to both greater adoption and continued use of a technology. Other factors, such as economic cost and technical feasibility are undoubtedly important. Findings highlight an opportunity to focus educational programs on the systems-based strategies that are beneficial to growers, but growers are least knowledgeable about to increase adoption of effective water conservation methods that currently have low levels of grower implementation.

HortScience 2018 Warner et al (363 KB)

26 Jun 2018

A Cost Analysis for Using Recycled Irrigation Runoff Water in Container Nursery Production: A Southern California Nursery Case Study

Pitton, B.J.L., Haver, D.L., Oki, L.R. (UC Davis), Hall, C.R. (Texas A&M), and S.A. White (Clemson University)

Recycling irrigation runoff water reduced costs for a southern California container plant nursery originally using expensive high-quality water. Water cost for municipal supplied water was $2.26 to $2.91 per 1000 gallons. Water capturing and recycling system construction and infrastructure accounted for a large portion of recycled water cost resulting in $0.92 to $1.21 per 1000 gallons. However, rebates and a grant reduced total and per volume recycled water cost to $0.43 and $0.53 per 1000 gallons. Recycled water is a viable alternative to many expensive water sources and public funds facilitate adoption of recycled water for irrigation.

https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007%2Fs00271-018-0578-8.pdf

12 Jun 2018

Good Timing

Fernandez, Thomas R. (Michigan State University)

An earlier article discusses how much water a substrate can hold and how much to replenish at various depletion levels, but not how quickly plants use water. A better understanding of plant water use will allow irrigation scheduling based on the plants rather than a set volume of water. 

http://www.nurserymag.com/article/good-timing-june-2018/

Key
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Description of research activities

A national team of scientists is working to encourage use of alternative water resources by the nation’s billion-dollar nursery and floriculture industry has been awarded funds for the first year of an $8.7 million, five year US Department of Agriculture – National Institute of Food and Agriculture –Specialty Crop Research Initiative competitive grant.

The team will develop and apply systems-based solutions to assist grower decision making by providing science-based information to increase use of recycled water.  This award from the NIFA’s Specialty Crop Research Initiative is managed by Project Director Sarah White of Clemson University.  She leads a group of 21 scientists from nine U.S. institutions.

Entitled “Clean WateR3 - Reduce, Remediate, Recycle – Enhancing Alternative Water Resources Availability and Use to Increase Profitability in Specialty Crops”, the Clean WateR3 team will assist the grower decision-making process by providing science-based information on nutrient, pathogen, and pesticide fate in recycled water both before and after treatment, average cost and return-on investment of technologies examined, and model-derived, site specific recommendations for water management.  The trans-disciplinary Clean WateR3 team will develop these systems-based solutions by integrating sociological, economic, modeling, and biological data into a user-friendly decision-support system intended to inform and direct our stakeholders’ water management decision-making process.

The Clean WateR3 grant team is working with a stakeholder group of greenhouse and nursery growers throughout the United States.

For example, at the University of Florida graduate student George Grant is collecting data on removal of paclobutrazol, a highly persistent plant growth regulator chemical, from recirculated water using granular activated carbon (GAC) filters. This is being done in both research greenhouses and in a commercial site. The GAC filters can remove more than 90% of chemical residues, and are proving to be a cost-effective treatment method.

 

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