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Adoption-Outread of Agricultural Water Conservation Strategies in a Sub-Humid Urban Area


The goal of this project is to evaluate the best strategies for implementing lawn irrigation water conservation measures through the following objectives:<OL> <LI> To implement an ET/rainfall information network required to estimate irrigation requirements for lawns in Sioux Falls; <LI> Perform audits of irrigation systems and convey results to the development and irrigation installer community; <LI> Establish three groups for comparison of water conservation impacts;<LI> Disseminate results to the City of Sioux Falls and stakeholder groups for consideration of approaches to expand efforts.

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Non-Technical Summary: Lawn and turf irrigation has increased significantly over the last few decades, especially in the Midwest and Great Plains. Nationwide, more water is used to irrigate turf and lawns than is used for irrigating crops. The goal of this adoption-outreach effort will be to implement a weather network to generate irrigation scheduling information, evaluate volunteer homeowner's irrigation systems, and work to implement and evaluate three approaches to water conservation (education and education with installation of smart controller). <P> Approach: To meet the long term issue of water supply, we propose to develop an adoption-outreach plan for the city of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, by auditing water usage of volunteer homeowners in the city through on-site assessment of irrigation systems (i.e. irrigation audit) and an evaluation of water usage using the City of Sioux Falls Public Works department real-time wireless metering system. On-site visits will be done to assess the irrigation system layout and uniformity of water application. Smart controllers will also be implemented and compared to changes in homeowner behaviors. To support irrigation scheduling and public awareness of landscape water demand, weather stations will be deployed to measure atmospheric conditions and subsequently calculate an estimated landscape evapotranspiration (ET). The ET estimates will also be provided to homeowners via the internet and the City of Sioux Falls cable channel, and will be the start of on-the-ground data for smart controllers with capabilities to retrieve real-time data. The goal of this project is to educate homeowners in Sioux Falls on the importance of water conservation to offset long term capital investments and to extend the life of current water supplies through adoption of water conservation practices and technology. Project success will be evaluated and dissemination will occur through one-on-one education, group meetings, television, and a project website.

Todey, Dennis
South Dakota State University
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