I was talking to a friend of mine last week about water issues, this friend of mine is an almond and citrus grower in California. For those of you who didn’t know, California was in a tremendous drought up until the last few months. Luckily, they have been getting record snow and rainfall throughout the state. It’s great that the drought has broken, but to enact long-term sustainable change in how they will capture, store and release water is an entirely different story. While talking to this friend, he informed me that before the drought broke, there were plans from all those invested in agriculture to build more storage for snowpack and winter rain, and plans to improve water usage in both urban and rural areas. However, since the drought is no longer an issue, the urgency is gone, and these plans may never be implemented.
Even though this issue is in California, this article is about you, me and all of the other Ag professionals out there. Last week, just here in Nebraska, it was reported that groundwater levels were on the rise and that we were beginning to recover from the drought. Here is where Rule number 5 comes into play. This is an opportunity for us; we shouldn’t squander this resource because things are getting better. Yes, part of the reason ground water levels are on the rise is because we have improved our irrigation practices, but Mother Nature has done her share to help us fix this problem. Record rainfalls over the past few years have given us a reprieve from continued dropping aquifer levels, but now is the time to do our part. We need to seize the opportunity and take this chance to maintain what we have recovered by continuing to improve what we do and how we do it. AquaSystems, cover crops, hybrid selection, VRI, nozzle packaging are all of the tools that we need to become the best irrigators we can be.
We must be watchful and not fall into a false sense of security. Just because soil moisture and ground water levels are good now, it doesn’t mean it’s going to stay that way. We need to be watchful, even just for 2016, remember in the spring of 2012 we had great soil moisture and early rains, but guess what the Mother of all droughts showed up and put us in a bind. We find ourselves now, four years later, still recovering from that drought.
Vigilance and action are what we still need; we must maintain the course that we have had on improving our processes to protect our “license to operate” in the future. Don’t settle for the good, go for the great with the help of your agronomy team here at CVA. The ACS team is always looking for ways to improve and implement new and innovative water management solutions through the AquaSystems platform. Nothing against the state of California but let’s not be like them and rest when we have the opportunity to press on. Which brings me to Rule number 8 “Never take anything for granted”, because the decisions we make today will always shape our tomorrows.