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Editorial message


Positive initiatives in irrigation By Stephen W. Smith, PhD, FASIC, CAIS, CLIA, Irrigation Association Editorial Board Chair


There are a lot of good things happening in the world of irrigation. I feel privileged to be a part of it. Smart Irrigation Month, as promoted by the Irrigation Association, is a good time to report on recent positive events and innovations.


For many years, Ed Norum, PE, with the Center for Irrigation Technology at Fresno State, was the head of the U.S. delegation to the International Standard Organization’s Irrigation and Drainage Committee [ISO TC23/SC18]. About six years ago, I was asked to backstop Ed on the committee. This ISO group meets annually in one of the participating member countries, and this year it met in Colorado on June 5 – 9. Seven countries participated including Spain, France, Israel, Canada, India, China and the United States.


A current topic of significant importance is “big data” in irrigated agriculture. This topic in standards development, as driven by the United States and Spanish delegations, generally includes the internet of things [IoT], SCADA, and irrigation control and management systems. The current draft standards work in this area will be vetted within ISO over the next several years. If you or your company has interest or input, email your comments to Brent Mecham, CID, CLWM, CIC, CLIA, CAIS, IA’s industry development director, at brentmecham@irrigation.org.


In other happenings, the Foundation for Food and Agricultural Research is supporting and encouraging formation of an Irrigation Innovation Consortium. FFAR will support consortium development with 1:1 funding against any nonfederal funds. As it is currently developing, the first phase will include Kansas State University, Fresno State University, Texas A&M University, the University of Nebraska and Colorado State University. Irrigation industry companies have the opportunity to participate in a 1:1 matching with the FFAR funding. Research, training and demonstrations of high efficiency and highly managed irrigation will be in both the agriculture and landscape sectors of our industry. More will be announced about this formative consortium in the future.


Have a great, safe and water-efficient summer!


Editorial Committee Chair Stephen Smith participates in the drought summit during the 2016 Irrigation Show and Education Conference.


4 Irrigation TODAY | July 2017


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