0 Water usage efficiency: An environmental must

Water usage efficiency: An environmental must

By Martyn Jones : National Turfgrass Foundation

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Conserving water resources is not merely a matter of irrigating less frequently or less intensely. It is a matter of ensuring maximum efficiency by preventing run-off, ensuring uniform infiltration into a sward, adjusting quantities and frequencies to suit the desired grass species and soil type, modifying applications in recognition of micro-climate variations, minimising evaporation losses, avoiding leakages, and accurate targeting of the area. Additionally, ensuring that an irrigation system is operating at optimum efficiency requires regular checking of sprinkler operation, sprinkler placement and depth, trajectory of spray, nozzle wear, and correct system operating pressure.

Less visible but of equal importance is the encouragement of uniform distribution and availability of water within the soil, and the development of a deep and extensive root system to maximise plant efficiency.

Recognising all the criteria, assessing each element, and monitoring performances are the key to efficient irrigation. Devising an intelligent and responsible irrigation scheduling plan is a major contribution to environmental stewardship of any golf course or sports ground.

The National Turfgrass Foundation 'In Pursuit of Excellence' Conference to be held at the Hilton Hotel, Blackpool, 5th to 8th December offers presentations on these topics from internationally renowned experts. For further details, contact NTFoundation@aol.com or speak to Martyn or Louise on 01995 670675 or 07887578807.

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