Friday, October 3, 2014

On our way to WaterSmart Innovations 2014

Next week I’ll be one of many water management workers, experts, academics and brand reps attending the WaterSmart Innovations Conference in Las Vegas, arguably the premiere water-efficiency gathering in the US.

Stakes are high
WaterSmart is always a treat for me for a host of reasons. Yes, there is a product expo for new gear and technology, but the emphasis at this event is the professional sessions. So many sessions! Inevitably, I’m forced to weigh great topics against great topics (maybe next time turf removal report ;_;) when ironing out the itinerary because there are so many interesting water-focused presentations.

Who can forget the animated debate that followed 2013's multi-stream nozzle talk
That this has been another year of harsh drought in the western US only underscores the importance of bringing experts and decision-makers together to share what has been working and successful in water management.

WaterSmart divides professional sessions into different tracks, some more relevant to my work than others. With the intense drought in California, many suggest that water rationing is around the corner. One possible alternative is water budgets. Several municipalities have already adopted budgets. I'll be attending those sessions. I recently gave a talk to graduate students in UF's Ag & Bio Engineering Department about the value of social media, so reports of programs successfully integrating these resources in their outreach are always of interest to me.

Sensor vs. sensor: on-site and saving you water
And since much of my work entails working with all things smart irrigation (apps, soil sensors, WBICs!) I’m definitely excited about the sessions evaluating these devices in real world settings.

Gather 'round: UF's Bernard Cardenas will be presenting on soil moisture sensors at WaterSmart  
Stay tuned
I’ll be traveling to WaterSmart with IrriGator all-stars Dr. Michael Dukes and Bernard Cardenas. Watch for live tweets and a future report back and video.

Relive Watersmart 2013 courtesy Miami-Dade's Urban Conservation Unit

About the author: 
Michael Gutierrez is a water resources 
technician with UF/IFAS in the Ag & Bio 
Engineering Dept. He tweets, blogs and 
also shoots still and video media in South 
Florida, Gainesville and anywhere else a 
camera is handy. (image: Jesus Lomeli)

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