Irrigation, Ground Water Associations to Collaborate

The Irrigation Association and the National Ground Water Association have agreed to work together on scientific, technical and policy issues related to ground water and wells.

Directors of the two associations signed a mutual cooperation agreement outlining common interests and objectives, including communication on technical and public policy matters.

"Decisions about water are often based on emotions," said IA executive director Tom Kimmell. "It is in the interest of the Irrigation Association, our members and the National Ground Water Association to encourage policy decisions based on science. This agreement allows our organizations to work together to support research and fact-based public policy where ground water and irrigation are concerned."

The IA represents irrigation equipment manufacturers, distributors, dealers, irrigation system designers, contractors, educators, researchers and installers in public and private sectors. With more than 15,000 members worldwide, NGWA is the largest association representing the ground water industry.

"Irrigation uses the largest amount of ground water in the United States," said NGWA executive director Kevin McCray. "Consequently, our organizations share an interest in the wise use and protection of ground water for those who need it now and in the future."

About 70 percent of all ground water withdrawals in the U.S. go to irrigation, according to a U.S. Geological Survey report from 2004.

"It makes sense that the ground water and well system experts work cooperatively with the irrigation system experts in what inherently is a symbiotic relationship," McCray said.

According to the agreement, areas of increased cooperation could include joint research, conferences, education and training, policy statements, technical documents or business development.

NGWA membership includes many leading public and private sector ground water scientists, engineers, water well contractors, manufacturers and suppliers.

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