Recently, the Imperial Irrigation District had the opportunity to host a quarterly conference for the Department of Water Resources. Those in attendance were primarily educators and/or in-house trainers who represented various member water agencies throughout California. Nearly all the agencies in attendance represented urban water users.
The educational committee is an important facet of the Department of Water Resources. Basically, the educational committee develops and implements curriculum that is incorporated into our state's standards for public education. This year's endeavor is to create three instructional modules that will teach elementary students (fourth- through sixth-graders) the importance of water use and water conservation.
Since this committee is mostly comprised of urban water agencies, they originally deleted all reference to agricultural water uses and irrigation practices.
Throughout this two-day conference, IID staff, community leaders, farmers and educators portrayed a different viewpoint of agricultural water use. Together they explained and exemplified the importance of water allocations to one of the richest agricultural areas in the nation, the Imperial Valley. We had experts review current water-management practices, water-conservation methodologies, irrigation principles, agricultural research and technology, and offered various teaching strategies that were inclusive of the agricultural industry.