Jennifer Martin, (202) 720-8188
September 5, 2008
The 2008 Water Reuse in Agriculture Conference, "Water Reuse in Agriculture: Ensuring Food Safety," will be held October 26-28, in Monterey, Calif. Cosponsored by the USDA's Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service (CSREES) and the WateReuse Association, the conference will explore the benefits of using recycled water to meet agricultural needs.
The use of recycled or reclaimed water in agriculture is a growing practice that may help ensure safe and sustainable food crops. Recycled or reclaimed water is used in several states to irrigate both edible and non-edible crops. The overarching goals of water reuse in agriculture are to provide an adequate supply of high quality water for growers and to ensure food safety.
This conference will highlight success stories and focus on the many challenges the agricultural community must overcome to ensure food safety. Topics to be discussed at the conference include regulations, the health aspects of recycled water use on edible and non-edible crops, economics, technology, public perception and the federal government's role in water management.
In locations such as Monterey and Sonoma Counties in California and Orange and Lake Counties in Florida recycled or reclaimed water is used to grow various kinds of vegetables and to irrigate grapevines and citrus groves. Additionally, in many places, recycled or reclaimed water might be the highest quality water available to farmers.
This year's conference is a follow up to the 2006 water reuse conference. In response to the 2006 conference, CSREES recently released a final conference report, "Opportunities and Challenges in Agricultural Water Reuse." The report is available online at www.csrees.usda.gov/newsroom/news/2008news
To register for the 2008 Water Reuse in Agriculture Conference, visit www.watereuse.org and choose the Agricultural Reuse Conference under the Events menu. Early bird registration for the conference ends September 15, and registration closes October 13.
Through federal funding and leadership for research, education and extension programs, CSREES focuses on investing in science and solving critical issues impacting people's daily lives and the nation's future. For more information, visit www.csrees.usda.gov.