Mobile Irrigation Lab saving Florida water
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Innovation by Florida agriculture operations helped save the state more than 12 billion gallons of water last year.
Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam announced last fiscal year’s good news through the Mobile Irrigation Lab (MIL) program. The program provides free irrigation system evaluations and on-site education to help producers improve irrigation efficiency.
“Florida agriculture is increasing water conservation and productivity with the help of the Mobile Irrigation Lab program’s modern technology and techniques,” Putnam said. “Only through increased efficiency and conservation can the needs of Florida’s diverse water users be met — and Florida agriculture is doing its part.”
Underscoring the importance of increased water conservation, water supply plans developed by Florida’s water management districts, in cooperation with Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, indicate a 1.3 billion gallon per day shortfall of water by 2030.
The Mobile Irrigation Lab program is a partnership between the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, the Natural Resources Conservation Service and local water management districts. Between July 1, 2014, and June 30, 2015, the MIL program conducted more than 1,000 evaluations that resulted in the conservation of an additional 1.2 billion gallons of water, bringing the program’s estimated annual water savings to more than 12 billion gallons.
These services are free-of-charge and provide site-specific expertise in analyzing irrigation systems and educating property owners on how to improve water conservation and use. The department and partners provide recommendations for improvements to the existing irrigation systems and equipment, and educates consumers on water conservation, irrigation planning, and irrigation management.