Communication Key to Collaboration
Over the course of twelve years and in cooperation with some of the brightest minds in turf science today Turfgrass Water Conservation Alliance (TWCA) has developed the protocols and technologies for turf evaluation that are now standard industry wide. The key for TWCA, in the quest to define drought tolerance in turfgrass, is open and clear channels for communication.
Turfgrass Water Conservation Alliance (TWCA) created the Irrigation Calculator (based on this calculator from Pennington) to help end-users predict the runtimes of their irrigation systems. Simple.
TWCA collaborated with a network of public and private researchers including Oregon State University, University of Washington, University of Arkansas, and NexGen Plant Science Center, on a series of multi-year inquiries to answer some basic questions about site specific conditions.
The Irrigation Calculator is simple. Click the greenness of your grass (fun fact: during development we called this the "lush level"). Know the irrigation rate and weekly frequency. Remember where you live. It's true, there are some curveballs in there; not everyone knows if they have TWCA Qualified turfgrasses, but generally, pretty spoon and June.
The calculator itself is an example of interdisciplinary cooperation on a public/private partnership resulting in an immediately useful tool.
Turfgrass Water Conservation Alliance (TWCA) relies on our cooperators to conduct trialing. We recognize that our work is only a small part of what you do on your farm and that tracking the details of the study is not something you want to worry about. We also know you want to talk about all the cool and interesting work you spend your time on and we certainly hope TWCA is on the list of things you want to discuss.
To make it easier to express the scope and scale of the TWCA trialing we have created this list of talking points about the trial(s) TWCA is currently running.
50% Water Use Reduction in SLC
SLC Public Utilities Water Conservationist, Stephanie Duer is reporting a 50% reduction in water use at the Concord Lifting Station in the months following the landscape conversion for SLC Turf Trade. The location was selected for conversion as a demonstration canvas for landscape practices suggested by the Center for Water Efficiency (CWEL). This conversion incorporates a number of different landscaping practices to maximize water efficiency. Common landscape tactics for increasing water efficiency include hydrozoning, or grouping plants according to their water need, turf area reduction, and optimizing irrigation design and hardwater for water efficiency.
Jack Karlin is the Program Administrator for TWCA. His interest is in using policy and the built environment to create livable and sustainable communities.