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ASIC Offers
“Smart Water Solutions”

By Stephen Kelly, managing editor






Outgoing ASIC president, Jim Barrett of Roseland, New Jersey, explained how water companies charge their biggest customers less for water instead of putting a premium on usage.


The American Society of Irrigation Consultants (ASIC) held its 21st Annual Conference in Newport Beach, Calif., April 30 to May 4. The ASIC, in case you’ve been asleep at the controls, is a nonprofit, peer review forum for independent irrigation consultants for solutions and ideas for irrigation design and improving water management founded in 1970.

Construction of irrigation systems designed by its members exceeded $712 million in 2003, up more than 30 percent from 1998. ASIC projects expenditures to reach $1 billion by 2006.

The LCN offices are located in Tustin, just up the road from Newport, so the ASIC get-together was in our backyard. The consultants stayed at the meeting facility, the Hyatt Newporter, a picturesque hotel with its own mini golf course just down from Pacific Coast Highway and a stroll away from Upper Newport Bay, what the locals call the Back Bay, the coastal wetlands that are a favorite spot for urbanites to bird watch, bike, jog (my place to run), or just stroll and enjoy nature.

Us editor types don’t have much time to get away from the office, but I took a few hours from my busy schedule to drop in on the last day of the conference. The awards luncheon had just finished when I arrived at the outdoor buffet area. Drat, I’d skipped lunch and now missed the buffet!

Coming in on the tail end of things, Nicho Campos, who was in charge of the meeting, was kind enough to set up an interview with the outgoing ASIC president, Jim Barrett of Roseland, New Jersey, a tall, friendly and personable fellow who cogently articulates water issues. Mr. Barrett was quite generous with his time, giving me a rundown of the conference and many insights. He mentioned a figure that I’ve read before, but one that still gives pause: Less than one percent of all the earth’s water is available for human needs: the water that irrigate our fields; the water that generates our power; the water used by manufacturers; the residential water each and every one of uses day in, day out.

Mr. Barrett pointed out that only about two percent of human waste water on the planet is treated, and that the vast majority of the planet’s population does not have access to clean, safe drinking water. If there are wars fought over oil reserves, it’s not hard to imagine countries battling over water. U.S. states fighting over water rights is common in the west, a situation exacerbated by such urban growth centers as Las Vegas.

Mr. Barrett told me about irrigation needs of synthetic turf in stadiums. Irrigation? Yes, to dissipate the heat from the playing surface. He explained now efficiently golf courses are watered, compared to the much larger waste going on in the residential sector. As he spoke, I felt disappointed in missing the conference (note to self for next year). Joe Berg of the Municipal Water District of Orange County (Calif.) spoke on residential runoff; Tom Rosales of the South Orange County Wastewater Authority chimed in on wastewater treatment and urban runoff; there were talks on protecting water quality through irrigation management practices, landscape practices for increasing irrigation efficiency; corrosion of metallic irrigation materials. Graham Bell, PhD, (no jokes, he’s heard them all) a principal engineer told the conferees that 4.2 percent of GNP is spent due to the effects of corrosion on our infrastructures. Who knew? except corrosion engineers. See you next year at the ASIC Conference.

For more information, visit www.asic.org

Irrigation Insights

60 – Percentage of landscape contractors who choose pop-ups for their irrigation projects based on a specific brand.

Source: Survey conducted by Landscape Contractor National



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December 9, 2019, 10:11 am PDT

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