Irrigation Tours Focus on Conservation, Plastics

Water conservation and the use of plastics in agriculture in South Texas, a region that must make the most of its water resources, will be the focus of industry tours offered at the start of the 27th International Irrigation Show.

Two Industry Tours, one for agriculture and one for turf and landscape, are scheduled Nov. 5, the first day of the 27th International Irrigation Show in San Antonio, Texas. The show runs Nov. 5-7, with Irrigation Association classes and Certification exams offered Nov. 2-7. Early applications are required for Certified Irrigation Contractor and Certified Irrigation Designer programs.

The agricultural tour features three nurseries, including one of the largest ornamental producers in the United States, a nursery wholesaler, and an operation that uses treated water from a nearby sewage plant to irrigate 50 acres of trees, shrubs, ground covers and other plants for landscape use.

Another stop will be a water garden supplier in Marion, Texas, which produces water plants and koi to meet the growing demand for residential and commercial ponds and water gardens.

Each of the nurseries has adopted innovative water management techniques to meet San Antonio's progressive Water Conservation Ordinance.

Water re-use and conservation are themes for the turf and landscape tour, which includes a turf farm that is evaluating the ability of turfgrass species to survive a 60-day drought. San Antonio will soon require that all new lawns be capable of surviving two months without water.

The turf/landscape tour will also visit the main office of the San Antonio Water System, which has incorporated many model conservation projects. Another stop is the San Antonio Botanical Garden as it prepares to upgrade its irrigation system for conservation.

The American Society of Plasticulture, which is holding its 33rd Congress in conjunction with the Irrigation Association show, is organizing the tours.

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