- freely available
Water 2019, 11(11), 2338; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11112338
2.1. Survey Question Development and Administration
2.2. Round Table Question Development and Discussion Sessions
3. Survey and Round Table Findings
3.1. Survey Highlights
3.2. Round Table Discussion Highlights
3.2.1. Major Water-Related Production Challenges
3.2.2. Concerns for the Future
3.2.3. Water Source Options
3.2.4. Regulatory Issues and Production Practices
3.2.5. Feasibility of Alternative Water Resource Use
3.2.6. Technology Adoption: When, Why, and How
3.2.7. Recycling Irrigation Return Flow: The Pros and Cons
3.2.8. Contaminants, Water Recycling, and Treatment Technologies
- Is the presence of pathogens an issue?
- Do salts accumulate?
- Do pesticides accumulate?
- What are the most effective and economical treatment options?
4. Research Priorities
4.1. Recycled Water Infrastructure and Management
- Is there an optimum water recycling method?
- Best practices to manage recycled water
- Liner for reservoir?
- Clean water before it enters the reservoir?
- Are there other water storage technologies (e.g., large, subterranean cisterns) for field production?
- Is there an easy (and accurate) test for the presence of plant pathogens, salts, and chemicals?
- How necessary is it to control plant pathogens?
- Do pesticide residues accumulate?
- Does pH shift in water influence plant quality?
4.3. Plant Health and Water Quality
- How does water quality relate to plant health?
- Is there a list of plants to grow using water of differing quality?
- Can we refine management practices based on water quality, water application method, soil mixes, return rates, and environmental factors?
4.4. Water Treatment Technologies
- Which treatments most effectively control plant pathogens?
- Is it economically feasible to invest in treatment systems? Do the benefits of the treatment system outweigh the costs associated with installation and on-going maintenance?
- What plants should be used in vegetative channels and waterways? Does plant selection change with the contaminant(s) present (e.g., plant pathogens, pesticides, or sediment)?
- Are there treatment systems that can be dual duty—water treatment while growing a second marketable crop?
- Is there cost-effective desalination?
4.5. Competing and Complementary Water Uses
- Can we integrate nursery water research with other industries with related issues (e.g., biofuels and sources of biofuels (algae) can nurseries use recycling reservoirs to produce algal crops)?
- Are there places that need nutrient rich water where it could be “traded”?
- What water quality is “good enough” to grow crops? Is there an industry we can partner with to use their effluent for irrigation, further treating it while growing our crops?
4.6. Societal Perception of Agricultural Water Use
- Are there water quality benchmarks for container growers that can help keep them in compliance with regulations?
- Is there information on the fate and mobility of the most common chemicals used by the industry? Desire expressed for a listing of common chemicals used and explanation about compound chemistry and potential to cause environmental problems—will it leach, sorb to soil, contaminate ground water?
- How can we educate consumers, legislators, and policymakers about our production practices and conservation efforts—to better alleviate their concerns about environmental safety and stewardship?
Conflicts of Interest
- List the top container, field, and/or greenhouse production challenges related to water.
- What concerns do you have related to your water supply over the next 10 years?
- If your current water source were to become limited, what options for irrigation water would you investigate?
- How do potential regulatory issues related to nutrient, sediment, and pesticides in runoff leaving your property influence your production practices (i.e., irrigation handling, fertilization rates, best management practices for irrigation return flow from production areas, etc.).
- What information do you need to be willing to consider alternative water sources for irrigation?
- What factors limit the capacity of your operation to use alternative water sources for irrigation?
- How do economic factors influence your willingness to adopt a technology?
- What type of information needs to be included in a cost-benefit analysis of the use of recycled water sources or irrigation sensor networks?
- What other factors do you consider when considering adoption of a new technology?
- How do environmentally related factors influence your production practices?
- If you capture and recycle irrigation return flow or stormwater runoff for reuse:
- Why did you implement these practices?
- What information would help you more efficiently manage your runoff and ponds?
- What information did you need (related to infrastructure—conveyance, vegetated ditched, sedimentation ponds, pond sizing, etc.) when you designed your containment/recycling system?
- Of the information (in (c)), where did you find the biggest gaps in knowledge that would have helped you design your containment/retention pond system?
- Please share any advice for ornamental operations considering implementing containment technology that would help them more efficiently design and manage their systems.
- If you do not capture and recycle irrigation return flow or stormwater runoff for reuse:
- What is (are) the major reasons you do not currently capture runoff water?
- What factors limit your ability to recapture water?
- If in the future, you considered capturing irrigation return flow and stormwater runoff for recycling, what information do you need to help you implement the technology?
- What factors limit your optimal use of containment/retention ponds for irrigation water—consider what research would be most beneficial for your operation related to water handling issues?
- List the contaminants that concern you most when you consider recycling your irrigation return flow.
- Are you aware of the cleansing (filtration, remediation, etc.) technologies available that can improve irrigation return flow water quality? If so, please list those with which you are familiar.
- Do you have access to information about the effectiveness/performance of these technologies?
- Do you think there is enough information available for you to implement these technologies?
- What research, related to containment, remediation, and recycling of irrigation water, do you think is most critical to enhance your operations economic and environmental sustainability and make the best decisions for implementing water-saving practices at your operation?
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|Irrigation return flow||18||2|
|Down the Road||9|
|Volume in surface water sources||4|
|Future regulations (availability)||2|
|Sediment control measures||5||6|
|Cost of water||4||6|
|Documenting volume used||3||7|
|Recycled water treatment||3||7|
|Water Supply Concerns||Frequency||Importance|
|Quantity or availability||17||1|
|Increase permits for water volume||5|
|Depletion of current water table||2|
|Long term drought||8|
|Regulation–government or environmental restrictions||14||2|
|Changes in public policy (monitoring, groundwater withdrawal, permit for wells)||4|
|Very expensive to implement BMPs||2|
|Total maximum daily loads||1|
|New well permits||3|
|Pathogen and water treatment||1|
|Managing irrigation return flow||1|
|Cost (escalation in cost as more limited in supply)||8||4|
|Who owns water under property?||1|
|Inter-state water disputes||2|
|Redundancy (multiple water sources)||1||6|
|Change production strategy||14||1|
|Increase irrigation efficiency||8|
|Flood bench/flood floor irrigation||3|
|Change substrate to heavier mix||2|
|Rainwater capture and storage||4|
|Irrigation return flow capture and storage||2|
|No alternative source||3||6|
|Not an issue||2||7|
|Blend well and recycled||1||8|
|Long-term consistency of supply||5|
|Do we have to filter?||2|
|Do we have to purify?||2|
|Maintain water quality||1|
|Reclaimed water quality||8||3|
|High nutrient/salt levels||2|
|Pesticides on suspended sediments||1|
|Alternative water source—geography limited||3||4|
|Municipal water—how, when, cost||2||5|
|Better water than current||2||5|
|Water usage rates (conservation strategies)||1||6|
|Options for alternative water sources limited by geographic location (land availability)||5||2|
|Crop sensitive to specific pathogens||3||4|
|Community perception/concern, what happens after you apply (health concerns)||2||5|
|Crop sensitivity to salts—need pure, clean mist water||1||6|
|Factors Influencing Adoption of Technology||Frequency||Rank|
|Reliability (life-span) of technology||10||1|
|Return on investment||5|
|Cost/simplicity of maintenance of technology||4||3|
|Availability of financing||2||4|
|System simplicity and usability||5||1|
|Longevity of system (reliability)||3||2|
|Ease of maintenance||3|
|Consistent pathogen control||2||3|
|Adaptability to specific site||2|
|Pesticides (herbicides, plant growth regulators)||12||1|
|Nitrates, phosphates, salts||5||3|
|pH (diurnal cycling)||1|
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