Greenhouse growers can learn about the latest water treatment and conservation research in an upcoming series of webinars. Researchers from Clean WateR3, a federally-funded research team, will present topics that are focused on helping growers reduce, remediate, and recycle irrigation water. The grant team is managed by Dr. Sarah White at Clemson University and includes collaborators from across the U.S.
The team is presenting a series of six webinars hosted by the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences’ Center for Public Issues Education. The webinars will be 45 minutes long and will take place at 12:00 p.m. on consecutive Tuesdays beginning on January 24. Registration is open now, and the webinars will be archived at cleanwater3.org.
Here’s a list of the topics:
• “Clean WateR3: Research you can use on water conservation, recycling, and treatment” (Jan. 24) — Presented by Sarah White, this webinar will offer take-home messages from a major research project that involves 22 researchers in nine universities. The project is helping growers to reduce water use and contaminant loading via treatment technologies and improved water management strategies; remediate contaminants in irrigation water (pathogen, pesticides, nutrients, and particles); and recycle irrigation water, with new online and published information.
• “Manage diseases caused by Phytophthora and Pythium in nurseries” (Jan. 31) — Presented by Johanna Del Castillo and Cassandra Sweet, this webinar will offer tips on understanding the biology of waterborne pathogens, in order to successfully manage root rot and other diseases.
• “How do leading growers solve water quality issues?” (Feb. 7) — There is no silver bullet that treats all water quality issues. Paul Fisher of the University of Florida will highlight growers who are successfully managing problems such as bacteria, particles, iron, and agrichemical residues in water.
• “Reasons we do or do not use water treatments and technologies” (Feb. 14) — Alex Lamm and Laura Wagner of the University of Florida highlight the latest social science research results detailing why we, as an industry, care a lot about water protection or conservation, but then choose not to adopt water conserving technologies or treatments. This webinar will inspire growers to think about adoption and will assist Extension specialists and researchers in understanding how to develop technologies and provide instructions that will make it easier for growers to adopt.
• “Enhance irrigation practices through audits and monitoring” (Feb. 21) — Water is central to containerized crop production. Jim Owen of Virginia Tech University will look at simple techniques to know and improve water application efficiency.
• “Sensor-controlled irrigation and pathogen management” (Feb. 28) — John Lea-Cox of the University of Maryland will illustrate how better irrigation management substantially reduces nutrient leaching and runoff, which conserves scarce freshwater resources and reduces the potential for pathogen movement from production areas.