Agriculture/Water Nexus Academy 2022

May 26, 2022
Image of a plant sprout beside an image of water

Water is an important consideration for most businesses, but it is absolutely essential for agriculture. Arizona agriculture exports food and fiber to 70 countries across the globe as well as throughout the US. It contributes more than $23.3 billion to our state’s economy but also uses 70% of our state’s water resources. On the surface, agriculture seems to be a likely industry to review for water savings. Yet, as the saying goes, looks can be deceiving.

Even home gardeners know there is a delicate balance between soil types and plant watering needs to get that perfect crop. With all the advances in irrigation technology, it often seems like more of an art than science to growing food. There is no “one size fits all” strategy for crop irrigation. The poignant question is “How do we balance agriculture’s need for water while our region is in a long-term drought?”

To help students get a better understanding of the current water-agriculture nexus, APW has created innovative multi-grade level lessons which allow students to explore how to design and model irrigation systems and how to analyze the cost of water in food. These new classes will be offered in a two-day teacher professional development workshop entitled Ag/Water Nexus Academy 2022 on July 12 & 13. Teachers will attend the WRRC 2022 Annual Conference: Arizona’s Agricultural Outlook: Water, Climate, and Sustainability on July 12. They will spend the following day at Maricopa County Cooperative Extension exploring ways to bring science to life with the problem of water and agriculture with Arizona Project WET.