Water Well with CWEL
2nd Tuesday of each month
2:00 pm MST
Apr 9, 2019
Increasing Microbial Activity and Organic Matter in Soil
Grant Cardon, USU Extension Soil Specialist
In this webinar, Grant Cardon USU Extension Soil Specialist, joins us. Grant discusses how organic matter and living organisms work together to form stable aggregates, or crumbs, which are the foundation for optimal soil function. He also covers important how-to’s and tips for improving water holding capacity of your landscape, garden, or farm.
March 12, 2019
Irrigation Tips for Healthy Orchards
Brent Black, USU Extension Fruit Specialist
In this webinar, Brent will provide an overview of proper irrigation practices and why it's essential to maintain healthy and productive fruit trees. He discusses how over-irrigation slows root growth, increases iron chlorosis in alkaline soils, and leaches nutrients out of the tree's root zone, leading to nutrient deficiencies. Over-irrigation can also induce excessive vegetative growth, reduces fruit size, and provides the ideal environment for crown and collar rots. On the flip side, applying insufficient water results in drought stress and reduced fruit size and quality, which reduces income (for all you producers out there).
February 12, 2019
Water Conservation Gardens
Fritz Kollmann, Red Butte Garden & Arboretum
In this webinar, Fritz Kollmann joins us to provide an overview of the new water conservation garden and touch on their evaluation of the passive water catchment techniques, irrigation systems and soil amendments used at the garden. He also highlights new plants they've selected, paying special special attention to hardy succulents and how to grow them successfully.
Lessons Learned & Water Saved Through Metering Irrigation Water
David Rice, Weber Basin Water Conservancy District
Weber Basin Water Conservancy District is a wholesale water provider in Northern Utah that provides drinking water to a population of over 620,000 people, water for industrial uses, secondary irrigation water for residential and commercial properties and agricultural irrigation water. Up until 2010, the pressurized secondary irrigation water was unmetered and users were charged a flat rate for water allocated to their parcel. In 2010, the District began to install meters and provide users with a monthly report on their usage in comparison to an estimated need based on parcel size and weather data. The results have been significant in reductions considering prior to meter install there was no knowledge of use. Metering is now a top priority to be able to meet long term conservation goals and bring accountability to end users.
Water, Trees and Arid Urban Landscapes
Heidi Kratsch, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension
Trees enhance urban communities by cleaning the air, reducing concentrations of greenhouse gases, reducing heating and cooling costs, reducing crime, improving water quality, and beautifying our landscapes. Trees in arid urban landscapes face significant stressors due to low precipitation during the growing season and poor soil structure, making irrigation one of the most significant factors in their long-term survival. In this webinar, we address water needs for urban landscape trees, irrigation strategies, and the ramifications of improper watering on tree health.
Water University: Science Based Homeowner Education
Clint Wolf, Program Manager, Water University
The “real world” of the American homeowner is far removed from the ongoing research
being done in landscape water conservation. He is not privy to the reams of information
being published on all sorts of new findings and more efficient watering techniques.
He is at the mercy of his own limited knowledge and that of the “neighborhood expert”.
The Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center in Dallas have created Water University, an online and hands on resources for water conservation education. Water U will give consumers and professionals the desired information on water education at a click of a button. AgriLife Water University offers an array of educational series to homeowners, landscape professionals, engineers and municipal personnel, with a focus on landscape water conservation practices and irrigation efficiency. The new Water University will provide online educational opportunities like how to videos and publications, website links and an easy way to register online for onsite and offsite classes, trainings and workshops. An added benefit to Water University is a tool to track workshop participant water savings and willingness to adopt best management practices.
Water University will allow our partners of federal, state, and local government, non-profits, nursery & landscape professionals, schools districts and various other organizations to utilize the same programs within their own organizations, cities and counties. The offsite classes and workshop service will ease the day to day operation and demand of their schedules. Our partners choose the location and market the class while we take care of the online registration, speakers, presentations, demonstration materials, handouts, evaluations and overall coordination of the program.
Right Plants, Right Place: Creating and Managing a Large Landscape with Limited Water
Bridger Varga, Landscape Manager at Wasatch Academy
Too often, we try to re-create landscapes based on nostalgia and expectations that don’t match our actual water availability and climate. Bridger Varga, landscape manager at Wasatch Academy, has worked to create and maintain a school landscape in rural Utah where water is limited and irrigation is restricted. By choosing the right plants, and allowing them to naturalize, he has created a unique landscape that still fits into the arid environment and becomes an example of sustainability for students, faculty and the wider community. Bridger will discuss the challenges and opportunities he has encountered creating this landscape.
Turfgrass Science & Industry Cooperate to Answer the Call for Reduced Water Use
Dr. Kelly Kopp, Ph.D., Utah State University
CWEL's own Dr. Kopp discussed how industry and science are joining forces for water conservation. The turfgrass industry and turfgrass scientists have been focused on sustainable turfgrass management practices for many years, resulting in reduced input of fertilizers, pesticides, and other products. In more recent years, the focus has turned to turfgrass water use and now several cooperative efforts are underway to develop, test, and introduce low water use grasses into the industry. This webinar introduced the various national programs focused on developing and testing low water use grasses, including identifying the resulting varieties and detailing Utah State University’s participation in these programs.
Subsurface Irrigation for Turfgrass Water Conservation
Dr. Bernd Leinauer, Turfgrass Research and Extension, New Mexico State University
Dr. Bernd Leinauer dives into the world of subsurface drip irrigation. Subsurface drip systems distribute water more efficiently and uniformly than standard sprinkler systems and their use is an important management strategy aimed at conserving water used in turfgrass irrigation. The following presentation will cover some of the most commonly asked questions about the installation and use of subsurface drip systems in turf. Participants of the webinar will learn of research findings regarding irrigation water use and of actual installations as part of Extension workshops.
Update on the Outdoor Water Use Research Initiative of the Alliance for Water Efficiency
Peter Mayer P.E,. Principal at Water DM
Peter Mayer updates us on AWE's comprehensive Outdoor Water Savings Research Program as they work to develop actionable information and data on the savings potential and actual water savings from a variety of outdoor efficiency measures.
A Wild West Tale: Debunking the Myth That Conservation Increases Rates
Candice Rupprecht, Water Conservation Program Manager, City of Tucson
Candice Rupprecht shared results of the Tucson Avoided Cost Analysis done in 2016 by WaterDM, in conjunction with Tucson Water and Pima County and the Alliance for Water Efficiency. This avoided cost analysis uses baseline data from 1987, the height of Tucson’s per capita demand, and compares the current water use scenario to a hypothetical, non-conserving scenario.
State of the State: Water Conservation Programs and Resources in the State of Utah
Faye Rutishauser and Josh Palmer, Utah Division of Water Resources
The State of Utah has several resources and programs available to communities and citizens to empower water efficiency statewide. One of the programs, Utah Water Use: Fame or Shame Report, will be entering its second summer, and has resulted in some interesting data and trends. Utah Division of Water Resources representatives will give an overview of State resources as well as a vision of the future of water conservation.
Smart Controller Pilot: Don't Set It & Forget It
Tim York, Aurora Water, CO
Aurora Water Conservation (AWC) conducted a two-growing season pilot program to gauge the effectiveness of “Smart” weather based controllers and in-ground system efficiency upgrades. With many contractors opting for the “Set it and forget it” mentality of smart irrigation technologies, AWC developed this pilot to gauge three scenarios of impact. The first scenario asked the landscape manager to leave the system alone including the controller. The second allowed for regular management of the controller. The final scenario included upgrade of the entire system. All three scenarios were instituted on a single site. Pre-pilot irrigation assessments were performed by AWC to record the efficiency of the system and provide actual precipitation rates and zone flows for calculating applied irrigation. The site owner’s current irrigation management contractor performed the equipment installation and system management utilizing ET WaterTM controllers. Continued collaboration between AWC and the irrigation contractor helped insure consistent data throughout the pilot giving significant data that could be applied to other properties. AWC utilized the data of this pilot to inform changes to our Irrigation Rebate Program and to determine the effectiveness of smart controllers. While savings were achieved in all three scenarios, the final results were somewhat surprising and helped impact a new rebate program focusing on multi-year water efficiency incentives.
Using Interactive Web-based Tools to Increase Outreach Efforts
Katie Masucci, Water Education Coordinator for City of Plano, Texas
The City of Plano’s online learning module, “Water, Water Everywhere: A Guide to Sprinkler Repair,” is a unique tool that empowers residents to manage their outdoor water use. Interactive and engaging, it is accessible anytime, anywhere, and its reach has expanded far beyond Plano since it went live in January of 2015. Users learn how to identify and repair common irrigation problems, including clogged nozzles, misaligned and broken heads and more. They also learn about the cycle and soak method using a mock irrigation controller that they program according to best practices for start times and run times. Of the City of Plano’s online learning modules, this one is consistently the top performer. Its design and content are valuable resources for homeowners, irrigators, educators and others!