2017 is an exciting year for the Smart Irrigation Month initiative. Not only does the industry have more efficient technologies on the market than ever before, but irrigation, landscape and agricultural communities are now offered even more ways to connect with the media, public and policymakers with the Smart Irrigation Month message.
Here are just some of the new initiatives introduced in 2017:
Technology Tuesday – On June 1, the Irrigation Association announced that the second Tuesday in July will now be referred to as Technology Tuesday. Celebrated in 2017 on July 11, Technology Tuesday will serve as the official kickoff of Smart Irrigation Month. This is the day when all industries that rely on a sustainable water source for irrigation can join together and showcase the new and innovative technologies used to save water all year-round.
Social media – In addition to the standard Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter posts, the Irrigation Association will introduce new and innovative ways for the public and industries to engage in promoting the message of efficient irrigation. Examples of what will be happening throughout the month include new social media platforms (e.g., Thunderclap), a new focus on photos and new tools to encourage engagement through these platforms.
Advocacy – Engagement with local, state and federal policymakers is a cornerstone of Smart Irrigation Month. Focusing on policies and programs that help consumers and end users become more efficient with their water use, the Irrigation Association introduced a new advocacy campaign for Congress and the administration to implement.
Public outreach – The industry fights an uphill battle when promoting the benefits of plant material and water use. Cutting through the noise is a difficult task, but is one that we will address head on with efforts such as reaching out to local media outlets and writing letters to the editor throughout the month of July.
Announcements – The Irrigation Association will be announcing several new initiatives throughout the month of July using Smart Irrigation Month as a platform and driver. This is a perfect time to highlight new programs that emphasize how the industry is a leading steward of the nation’s water resources.
The conflict between different water users over our water resources will continue to get more difficult over time. The demand for water for human consumption, environmental purposes, and agriculture and landscape irrigation is getting greater as the years go on. Industry members need to engage not only in July but all year-round regarding all aspects of water use including alternative water sources, water quality (storm water management), and the technologies and practices we use to avoid wasting water through inefficient irrigation.
Organizations such as the Irrigation Association and other national and state partners are great options to help lead and navigate thr industry through these challenges.
For more information on how you can get involved in July’s Smart Irrigation Month activities, please visit www.smartirrigationmonth.org.