STILLWATER, Okla. — Oklahoma State University’s Saleh Taghvaeian has received a $860,000 grant from the United States Department of Agriculture to identify and test affordable, effective and innovative technologies that allow for water conservation in flood irrigation systems.
The grant will allow Taghvaeian, assistant professor of biosystems and agricultural engineering in the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, and a team of professors and researchers to evaluate and install new technologies in flood irrigation systems in Oklahoma, Mississippi, Utah and California.
Taghvaeian said while more advanced irrigation systems that make irrigation scheduling easier, like sprinkler and drip systems, are already installed in a multitude of agricultural operations, many still utilize the flood irrigation system. Nearly one-third of the irrigated acres in the United States are under flood systems, so providing effective and affordable new technologies is essential to water conservation in the U.S, he added.
“It’s important to not to forget about these flood irrigation systems and still provide them with the technologies that can help them conserve water, especially during drought situations,” Taghvaeian said.
The project will span two years and establish OSU and Taghvaeian as the center of research, outreach and innovation in water conservation in flood irrigation systems. The venture is a collaborative effort through a partnership with Mississippi State University, Utah State University, the University of California as well as extension agents and landowners in each state.
The competitive Conservation Innovation Grants program is allocated to 19 projects in the public and private sectors totaling $12.5 million. The NRCS grant helps grantees to develop innovative tools, technologies and strategies to facilitate forward-looking conservation efforts in water quality, soil health and wildlife habitats on private lands.