Water is one of the most precious natural resources in the
arid and semi-arid regions of the southwestern United States. Growth an development
in this region will continue to be dictated to a large extent by the availability of
adequate water supplies. As such, increasing pressure is being placed on water
users, both small and large, to become more efficient in all aspects of water
utilization. Local and state water agencies will therefore need to investigate all
possible water management strategies that will enable the wise and efficient usage of the
available water resources. Water management strategies need to be developed not only
for conventional agriculture but also for urban water utilization.
The Las Vegas Valley Water District estimates, in southern
Nevada, residential water use as high as 65% of the total water use. 35% of total
water use is used to irrigate turfgrass and landscape. Thus, if urban communities
such as those in southern Nevada were to become better stewards of their water resources,
they must develop best management practices
(BMPs) for all aspects of water utilization. Research and educational programs will
need to be developed that focus on all areas of water usage, including programs aimed at
improving irrigation efficiency in urban agriculture.
My research team is currently investigating the potential use
of a shallow perched saline aquifer as an alternative irrigation
source for turfgrass. We also are in the process of initiating an experiment
to screen a large number of desert landscape species for tolerance to the foliar application of effluent.
Past projects include the study of the interaction of
application between uniformity distributions and leaching fractions on the spatial
distribution of water, salts, and plant responses. The effects of varying irrigation frequency,
irrigation volume and nitrogen levels on water use of tall fescue. The
evapotranspiration and growth response of woody
ornamental trees to varying irrigations regimes. Also, a long term estimate of
evapotranspiration of riparian vegetation, mainly Tamarix, along
the Virgin River. Further information on the conservation of water in an urban
environment are contained within these pages.
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