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Conservation, Waste and Why We Love the Tap

(Send your images that you would allow us to post to: photo [at] kusp [dot] org)

by J.D. Hillard
KUSP asked listeners to send photos of water waste, conservation and the benefits of reliable water. These picture will help us report on this topic online. For an idea of what we were looking for here are some I collected recently in fields off Highway 1 south of Watsonville.

First Waste:

Water spills onto an access road where sprinklers water seedlings. Photo: J.D. Hillard

Water spills onto an access road where sprinklers water seedlings. Photo: J.D. Hillard

I’m ignorant about a lot of things in agriculture. So I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that equipment that would water these seedlings without spilling either doesn’t exist or is prohibitively expensive. But that muddy stream running down the access road seemed to right on target in our hunt for images of water waste. If you can give your image these allowance this story is all around – just look for water that isn’t directly serving people or habitat.

Benefits of reliable water:

broccoli sprinklers pv

Reliable distributed water is essential for raising vegetables where wells may soon become obsolete.

The back story on these fields is the wells are either salty or would soon have been. Farms near the Pajaro Valley coast irrigate with treated waste water from Watsonville, resting the wells. It pays off in broccoli, strawberries and vegetables, successful businesses and jobs.

Conservation:

Purple pipes in fields near Watsonville carry water treated and reclaimed from municipal waste to irrigate crops.

Purple pipes next to Jensen Road near Watsonville carry water treated and reclaimed from municipal waste to irrigate crops.

This pipe carries water that is being recycled. It was first drawn from wells close to Watsonville, then it went through tertiary treatment. Now it’s being used where a few years ago all the water was extracted from the environment.

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