Five universities and five industry partners have been awarded $5 million collectively to launch a research program to increase water and energy efficiency.
The program, named the Irrigation Innovation Consortium, will also prioritize remote sensing and big data applications for improving water management, irrigation technology acceleration and technology transfer.
The universities included in the partnership are California State University, Fresno; Colorado State University; Kansas State University; University of Nebraska and Texas A&M University. The five industry partners include Jain Irrigation, Rubicon Water, the Irrigation Association, Lindsay Corporation and the Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District.
Fresno State and other consortium partners have also matched the grant with an additional $5 million donation to bring the total investment to $10 million over five years.
“We expect this collaboration of university and industry researchers will help producers and the irrigation community to continue to be more efficient in food production and water management — something the Central Valley prides itself on in being a leader nationally,” says Dr. David Zoldoske, project manager for Fresno State. “Our campus water and energy technology researchers and facilities can provide critical leadership in the areas of field and laboratory testing, materials, proof of concept, prototype development and value engineering.”
The grant is sponsored by the nonprofit, the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research. All knowledge gained will be shared publicly through publications, workshops and seminars.