Smart and Drip Irrigation Offer Energy Savings

Idaho Power’s Irrigation Efficiency Rewards program will cover replacement parts in irrigation systems in a program aimed at making them both more effective and energy efficient.

The Capital Press says that the program, which is only open to irrigation systems powered by electricity, covers 11 sprinkler parts. The information was provided to farmers at the Agri-Action trade show on Feb. 2.

The Environmental Defense Fund last week posted a blog extolling the benefits of drip irrigation. These systems more slowly and thoroughly introduce the water into the ground. Experts consider this more efficient than traditional systems that shoot the water, at high pressure, onto the top of the plants and soil.

The EDF post claims that drip irrigation has the significant secondary benefit of reducing energy use. Water is saved via this method which, of course, is a great benefit. It is not the only upside of the technology, however:

Drip irrigation saves more than water. Whereas traditional irrigation typically uses quite a bit of energy, drip reduces the pressure (and power) needed to get the water to the crops while reducing the need for energy-hungry fertilizers. Plus, due to the inextricable link between water and power, saving water results in further saved energy.

The prudence of energy efficient irrigation is being heard, at least in some places. This week, the Daily Journal, a news site in Mississippi, reported that smart irrigation is one the strategies that will be employed in a public/private partnership between the communities school district and Schneider Electric.

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