Irrigation Reduction in Agriculture | P2

Image of an illustrated wheat field

Irrigation Reduction in Agriculture | P2

History of Arizona Water Usage

Ranching and agriculture help form the backbone of Arizona’s economy, with 19,600 farms selling more than $3.7 billion worth of product per year.1 However, the industry involves intensive water use and approximately 70 percent of the state’s water is used in agriculture.2 

As this industry and the state's economy continue to grow, innovative farming techniques designed to reduce water consumption at the source will be increasingly important to decrease total water use for the agricultural sector.

Agricultural Management Practices for Water Quality Protection

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) outlines eight best management practices (BMPs) for farmers to reduce water quality impact from agricultural operations | View BMPs >

  • conservation tillage
  • crop nutrient management
  • pest management and conservation buffers
  • irrigation water management
  • grazing management
  • animal feeding operations management
  • erosion/sediment control.

Irrigation Techniques

Improving efficiency in irrigation is one of the most effective ways to conserve water. Innovative irrigation techniques such as those outlined below can reduce water demand without impacting production | Learn More >

Subsurface drip irrigation systems -- These systems use water more efficiently by applying it below the surface of the soil, ensuring that as much water as possible is used by the crop rather than being lost to evaporation.

Real-time soil moisture and weather monitoring -- Data loggers and sensors can be used to gather information about soil moisture and weather conditions that can then be incorporated into irrigation scheduling. Proper scheduling allows the highest amount of water to be absorbed by crops and additional watering to automatically shut down when the desired soil moisture level has been reached--avoiding over watering, and conserving water while sustaining crop growth and development.

Rainwater harvesting -- This method offers a range of simple to complex systems, all designed to capture and filter rainwater from various hard surfaces, such as rooftops, to store for use in irrigation. Captured rainwater can then be used in place of water drawn from an aquifer or other traditional sources. This can lead to cost savings and also allows for continued access to water when other sources are limited | Learn More about Harvesting Rainwater >