The IA Water Conference

by Curt Burnett on July 27, 2009

Last Wednesday and Thursday I attended the Irrigation Association’s first Water Conference, held at The Canyons Summit Resort in Park City, Utah. The IA has an annual trade show in November or December (this year it will be in San Antonio), but this conference was a new idea, and from the responses of the participants I would guess that it will be an annual event. Most of the relevant content came through a marathon series of presenters on Thursday, including a key presentation during lunch. The speaker seized our attention by suggesting that the US can use Australia as a crystal ball to see our water future. It deserves its own post, so I’ll cover it tomorrow.

What I will most remember from the conference is the animated panel discussion, with participation from a very engaged audience of irrigation professionals. There seemed to be a strong consensus that it’s time for the Irrigation Association and its leadership to step up their response to the looming water crisis. Since irrigation is generally considered to use about 2/3 of the world’s available fresh water, that seems like a good place to begin in addressing our water challenges.

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