Valley growers brace for water shortages

TAMU’s AgriLife Research service is helping producers in the Rio Grande Valley prepare for water shortages next year, according to an article by Rod Santana. TAMU released a report of 16 recommendations with the caveat that “not all recommendations apply to every type of grower in the region.” There are 26 irrigation water districts in the Valley, all of which are dealing with different projected levels of supply and demand, so the best thing to do is to contact your own irrigation management district, according to Dr. Juan Encisco, a water engineer at the TAMU AgriLife Extension in Weslaco.

"The list [of recommendations] includes taking advantage of this drought to level their land, install flow meters and rain gauges to better manage water use, reduce irrigated areas to give priority to perennial crops like citrus and sugarcane, plant more drought-resistant crops, and consider which crops have high- and low-yield response, profitability and risk to water stress.”

When was the last time you had an irrigation audit at your growing operation or at your landscaping customer’s home or business? What kind of changes have you implemented after performing an irrigation audit? Share your experiences with us.