In early May, the Irrigation Association (IA) hosted its Legislative Conference, where IA members traveled to Washington, D.C. to meet with members of Congress, senior congressional staff and administration officials. Several irrigation issues were discussed, focusing on three main areas.
 
“The Legislative Conference is an invaluable tool for promoting the benefits of efficient irrigation to members of Congress and administration officials,” said John Farner, IA federal affairs director. “We thank everyone that invested the time to travel to our nation’s Capitol and discuss the issues facing the irrigation industry.”
 
During the conference, a house resolution celebrating July as Smart Irrigation Month was introduced by Rep. John Linder, R-Ga., Jim Costa, D-Calif., and Bart Stupak D-Mich. The resolution supports the efforts of the irrigation industry promoting and educating about the benefits of smart water use.
 
The Irrigation Association also stated its support of a bill from Rep. Rush Holt, D-N.J. that will authorize the WaterSense® program for federal funding, and creates a nation-wide rebate program for WaterSense labeled irrigation equipment and services.  
 
Finally, Legislative Conference participants addressed the benefits of efficiently irrigating our nation’s landscapes, recreational areas and farms and how these benefits play a key role in sequestering carbon, among other ecosystems service benefits, in the current climate change debate.
 
IA members also met with senior officials at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service and Natural Resources Conservation Service. During meetings, IA members demonstrated how efficient irrigation is part of the overall solution to climate change, energy efficiency and water scarcity.
 
“This was an incredibly successful event and is part of IA’s overall strategic mission to provide lawmakers with sound scientific principles when developing and debating water policy,” said Farner.