From Pam Kan-Rice, UC Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources
July 10, 2013
Protect Water Quality
Tree crop growers have a new tool to help them assess the potential impact their growing practices may have on water quality.
Know Your H2O, an iPad app developed by the UC Cooperative Extension Agricultural Water Quality Research and Education Program in San Diego, asks growers a series of questions about their growing practices, then suggests Best Management Practices based on UC research that can reduce runoff or leaching of contaminants from orchards into water.
Although there are many sources of water pollution, runoff from farms may contain contaminant levels that exceed water quality standards.
Runoff from agricultural operations can pick up and carry natural and man-made pollutants, including fertilizers, salts, pesticides and sediments to lakes, rivers, wetlands and beaches, according to Loretta M. Bates, UC Cooperative Extension staff research associate, who leads the Agricultural Water Quality Research and Education Program in San Diego County.
The self-assessment questions fall into the following categories:
A. Property Management
B. Road Management & Erosion Control
C. Irrigation Practices
D. Leaching & Runoff
E. Nutrient Assessment & Fertilizer Management
F. Integrated Pest Management
Internet access isn’t needed for the iPad to perform the assessment, but you will need connectivity to email the results to yourself because the application won’t store the data.