Center for Urban Water Conservation

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Welcome to the Center for Urban Water Conservation...

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 Source: Las Vegas Valley Water Districtmanagement 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. 

For More Information Contact:

Dr. Dale Devitt

Dr. Dale Devitt
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Department of Biological Sciences
4505 MaryLand Parkway
Las Vegas, Nevada 89154-4004
702-895-3853
email:dev50@nye.nscee.edu

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