Articles, Blog

The Future of Irrigated Agriculture

(music) MAC: Water is the number
one issue for everybody. For people living in cities
as well as people involved in agriculture. CAMERON: In the lower Rio Grand
Valley there’s a population growth occurring and that
creates competing interests for the water that is
available there. AL: The future of irrigated
agricultural farmers in Texas is going, there’s going to be
tremendous demands on their water. JIM: The rate that the Rio
Grande Valley is growing, municipalities are going
to require much more water. There’s going to be a
lot of pressure on the agricultural community. To better utilize the water
and in some cases their water rights may be
reduced or taken away. MAC: A lot of the state economy
is dependent on agriculture and irrigation is a
vital portion of that, particularly here in the valley. What can we do together to make
water available for the future? WAYNE: We have to find ways to
be more efficient and to be able to irrigate our farmer’s
lands with less water than we had in the past. There are some things out there
that agriculture is doing on water conservation. But the reality is if we want
to see water conservation in agriculture, state policy needs
to focus on infrastructure changes. TOM: I hope that the information
that comes out of this project, can be delivered to those
legislatures, those policy makers that when they start
making rulings on how we deliver our water and who has the right
to that water, they take into account the importance of
that irrigation water to the Rio Grande Valley. CAMERON: One way we can assist
the districts is through developing education programs,
targeting those producers to help them to change to more
efficient irrigation practices. AL: That’s what the Ag Water
Efficiency is all about, is demonstrating to the farmer
which technologies we’ve found, which vendors we’ve found,
and which systems we’ve found actually are cost effective
and will return not only a savings in water,
but an increase in profit. MAC: We need to continue to
have research in water use efficiency because we need to
keep an sustainable agriculture. Because you don’t want
agriculture to go out of any community, particularly
here in the valley. DIEGO: I think it’s our job as
people getting educated to go out there to the world and
change how we do things. We have to build a better future
for ourselves and our kids. AL: Conservation is not
an option in the future of irrigated agriculture in Texas,
it’s absolutely mandatory. CAMERON: So now is the time for
us to seize the opportunity to create awareness, to educate the
public, to tell the producers and the districts about ways
that they can conserve water now and for the future of Texas.

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