Water, water everywhere

Water, water everywhere

The 2010 Irrigation Association show continues in Phoenix.

December 6, 2010
Chuck Bowen
Industry News

PHOENIX – The 2010 Irrigation Association show continues today in Phoenix, with more educational sessions, certification classes and a keynote presentation from Robert Glennon.

Glennon, a professor of law at the University of Arizona and author of “Unquenchable: America’s Water Crisis and What to Do About It,” will address the importance of conserving and managing the water supply more effectively.

Read a 2009 interview with Glennon from Lawn & Landscape’s archives here.

Here’s an update from Sunday’s activities.

REGULATORY UPDATE. John Farner, federal affairs director, said the association worked this year on securing consumer rebates for water efficient products. This is tied to the EPA WaterSense and Home Star programs. The Home Star program is still an active bill in Congress, but the recent changes in both houses make passage in 2010 or 2011 uncertain.

In 2011, contractors can expect less focus from Congress and other legislators on regulation of businesses, increased scrutiny of government spending and the authorization of hearings for the EPA WaterSense program, he said.

Chad Forcey, the association’s new state affairs director, said the IA is focused on proposed certification requirements in Florida, Minnesota, New York and Michigan.

VIDEOS. Check out these video interviews with show attendees and exhibitors.

John Ossa discusses new technologies available for contractors, and his picks on what they should keep an eye out for in 2011.

Joseph Janos goes over some of Kichler’s latest in LED lighting, including a line of path lights that won the 2010 Lighting for Tomorrow Award.

SMART MARKETING CONTEST. Winners of the Irrigation Association’s 2010 Smart Marketing Contest – which recognizes companies and industry partners for their promotion of Smart Irrigation Month – were also announced at the show.

ValleyCrest Landscape Maintenance, San Diego, won the contractor category by promoting the idea that “water management is more than fixing sprinklers,” said Richard Restuccia, leader of the company’s water management services. “The landscape contractor has the best ability … to save water,” he said.

ValleyCrest included calls for free irrigation evaluations in newsletters for its customers and prospects, and completed water-saving projects in Texas, Georgia and California.

Millennium Irrigation, Fayetteville, Ga., won the small company category. CEO Gregg Poe and COO Carla Poe started running this eight-employee firm full time in 2009, when Georgia was in the middle of one of its worst droughts and the economy was stalling.

They used social media outlets like blogs and Facebook to promote water-saving technologies and practices to their customers, and ran competitions for their sales staff to encourage them to sell upgrades and installations of rain sensors and smart controllers.

Ewing Irrigation Products, Phoenix, and the City of Calgary’s departments of parks and water services also won in the manufacture and affiliate partner categories, respectively.

To download a PowerPoint presentation with examples of the marketing materials each winner presented, click here.

The show's sponsors include: Toro, ITT, Hunter, John Deere Water, JAIN Irrigation, K Rain, FGN, Harco, Irritrol, J.R. Huston Consulting, Spudman and VGN.