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Water Conservation Field Services Program
Education - Water Management

Understanding of  how water is managed is very important.  To society, good water management means having adequate supplies of good quality water for all municipal, industrial, agricultural, recreational, and environmental needs.  Those in charge of operating water supply and delivery systems bear the greatest burden of responsibility for promoting and achieving good water management as demanded by society.To the irrigation district or ditch company, good water management means meeting the water needs of its customers as efficiently as possible, with minimum waste or loss.  Good water management is therefore fundamentally important to good overall district management.

Farmers exist today in an economic and financial environment where the line between success and failure is narrow. Today, what determines the difference between a profitable and unprofitable farm is now, more than ever, the management skill of the farmer.  To the farmer, good water management means getting the right amount of water to the crops at the right time with minimum labor and expense.  If this can be accomplished without creating other problems, such as a build-up of salt in the soil or losing water to spills and seepage, so much the better.

For some irrigators, the ability to implement efficient on-farm management practices and install modern water application equipment is hampered by the lack of capital.  On-farm water management measures might include development of water reuse systems, installation of surge valves and gated pipes, sprinkler systems, field leveling, and soil treatments.  Farmers may be willing to improve their irrigation efficiencies if long-term financing or other assistance is available from the district or other sources.  Programs to provide incentives for on-farm water management may include financing incentives, in-kind services, and educational programs.

Some financial incentives which may be made available to the agricultural grower by the district include:

An incentive program may also consist of in-kind services to water users.  For example, a district might establish a service to install soil moisture monitoring devices or provide climate and crop water requirement data for specific farms. Such in-kind services may also be a part of efforts to improve district-wide irrigation scheduling.

Demonstration projects and educational programs act as water management incentives by making farmers aware of different measures and the potential benefits of their use.  For example, districts might set up projects to demonstrate the effectiveness of using gated pipes and automatic surge valve controls to eliminate manually adjusting irrigation settings.


Last Updated: 6/17/08