The Splash

When Every Drop Matters: U.S. Water’s Irrigation Management Program

In the agriculture industry, every drop matters. Water is an essential component in crop production, and the pressures of usage regulations and environmental stewardship initiatives to ensure efficient water use are felt throughout the agricultural community. The maintenance program for a field's irrigation system must be efficient, effective and cost-conscious to ensure the crops are getting the right amount of water, at the right time, with the right pressure.

Distribution uniformity is a measurement for how evenly water is distributed from the source through the irrigation system to the crop. Poor distribution uniformity can result in irregular crop growth as some plants are overwatered while others are under watered. A well maintained irrigation system preserves water quality and ensures uniform water and chemical application throughout the field to produce a quality yield.

Mineral build-ups and biofilm growth within an irrigation system can restrict water flow and threaten the health of a crop. Excessive calcium and magnesium leads to a hard scale in and on system emitters, similar to the hard scale that forms on home faucets and showerheads, restricting flow. If iron is present in the system it can oxidize quickly and become a hard to remove layer of rust, reducing water output from the emitter.

Biofilm is the result of organic bacteria, fungi or algae growth in your system. As biofilm quickly multiplies, filters and emitters can become plugged or fouled if not treated properly. Managing bacterial slimes, fouling, and mineral build-up in the source water and throughout your irrigation system can prevent plugging and disruptions in flow uniformity problems before they occur.

Replacing fouling system components can be very expensive. On-site field evaluations of your emitter devices and in-field water testing can detect potential plugging issues or identify the cause of any current distribution issues or variations. If organic or inorganic properties are present in the water, chemical treatment plans can then be implemented.

In an industry where water use can drive up costs and impact yields, growers need a partner that understands the process. U.S. Water's agricultural team helps growers achieve maximum design efficiency of their irrigation system ensuring the proper delivery of water and inputs to the crop. Our comprehensive system analysis includes water testing, irrigation flow uniformity evaluations, field evaluations and irrigation equipment inspections. Our automation and monitoring capabilities allow for real-time monitoring and alarming so any flow issues can be handled immediately, and our analytical services verify and validate the effectiveness of your overall water treatment program.

Contact U.S. Water today to learn how our Ag Water products and services ensure both water and fertilizer are uniformly distributed to crops for efficient, cost-effective water use, and enhanced yield potential.