Posted on 11th May 2015
SOURCE: Press Advantage
Farmers across California are wondering how much they are able to produce using just an acre-foot of water. One farmer decided to invest in a 40 acre irrigation reservoir, having calculated that this would enable his farm to survive the prolonged drought that the state is currently experiencing. The reservoir has been purchased through BTL Liners, a company that has years of experience in creating various pond liners, including those for agricultural applications.
"I installed the liner in October, and it seems I timed it just right," says Paul Brennan, the Californian farmer. "We had a brief stormy period during the winter, and my irrigation reservoir was able to capture and store lots of rainwater."
Investing in the reservoir was just the first step, however. He also looked into improving his existing irrigation techniques. Additionally, he has been very active in implementing various other conservation methods. Thanks to these, the long term outlook for his farm has been tremendously improved. BTL took note and wondered whether this one farmer could be used as an example for other farmers.
"BTL is conducting a comprehensive cost analysis to determine when this investment will pay for itself in its entirety," says Michael Baron, President of BTL Liners. "Preliminary indications show a significant cost-savings that will more than justify the client's investment. Those farmers who make wise investments in water management infrastructure are positioning themselves not only to survive the current drought with the least damage, but to improve their resilience for future periods of drought or even flooding."
Indeed, the Californian drought means that, for a second year in a row, many farmers will be unable to receive water from the Central Valley Project. This project allocates water from the state's reservoirs. Of the nine million irrigated farmland acres, one third—three million acres—will not be able to receive surface water at all this year. Indeed, the only water they will be able to access is rain water, unless the farmers are able to purchase water allotments from other farmers. This is why so many farmers are now looking into drilling new wells and improving irrigation techniques.
Unfortunately, these methods of gaining more water are incredibly expensive. Digging a well is costly and bringing the water up from underground incurs further costs. Furthermore, the quality of the water often suffers, particularly when the underground aquifers are depleted. This means salt and other dissolved mineral concentrations rise. Surface lagoons and reservoirs, by contrast, have benefits both in terms of flood management and water supply. This is achieved by capturing water when it is available and then storing it so it can be used when needed.
"We are in an unprecedented, very serious situation," Governor Brown warned in January, "At some point, we have to learn to live with nature, we have to get on nature's side and not abuse the resources that we have."
For further information on how BTL Liners can help you build irrigation reservoirs with reinforced polyethylene liners, please use the contact details below, or telephone an expert on 541-447-0712.
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