Monitoring irrigation water

Clean WateR3 is a federally funded Specialty Crops Research Initiative grant focused on research and outreach to help growers Reduce, Remediate and Recycle irrigation water. The grant team is managed by Dr. Sarah White at Clemson University and includes many research collaborators.

The Water Education Alliance for Horticulture is a partnership between universities and industry that aims to educate greenhouse and nursery growers on using water efficiently and sustainably. The Alliance began in 2008 to provide growers with science-based irrigation information. The initiative is led by Dr. Paul Fisher at the University of Florida and is funded by industry sponsors and the Clean WateR3 grant.

The Alliance and Clean WateR3 welcome and encourage participation from other organizations and researchers. If you have general questions or comments about water quality, technologies, or monitoring, we would like to hear from you at watereducationalliance@gmail.com.

We also welcome you to subscribe to our newsletter.

Troughs collect irrigation runoff for reuse

Troughs collect runoff for reuse

Growers recognize the need to conserve water and reduce runoff, but changes to water management can be risky. We aim to support nursery and greenhouse growers with research and information.

Clean WateR3 - Reduce, Remediate, Recycle

Our projects focus on developing sustainable remediation technologies to encourage use of alternative water resources, especially recycled irrigation runoff, to decrease dependence on potable water, and enhance long-term economic viability. This is possible thanks to an award from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture Specialty Crop Research Initiative, and the involvement of 22 researchers in 9 universities. The objectives of this project are to:

  • Reduce contaminant loading into recycled water sources via treatment technologies and improved water management strategies.
  • Evaluate treatment technologies (physical and biological) to Remediate pathogen, pesticide, and nutrient contaminants.
  • Provide online and published information to help growers successfully Recycle water.

Water Education Alliance for Horticulture

An extension effort funded in part by Clean WateR3 and industry partners. Our goal is to increase water recirculation, reduce runoff and water-related disease, algae, biofilm, and crop nutrition issues in the greenhouse and nursery industry. We bring growers and water industry representatives together in hands-on workshops. Our website provides online resources and webinars related to recycling water and reducing runoff.

Clean WateR3 and the Water Education Alliance for Horticulture strive to provide growers with the information they need to manage irrigation water effectively. We appreciate your input. If you have any resources you would like to see posted on our site, or if you have questions about water management or about our program, please contact us.

Our collaborators include university and industry colleagues who are undertaking research on water treatment and management.

Team leaders

  • Sarah White

    Dr Sarah White*

    School of Agricultural, Forest, and Environmental Sciences
    Clemson University
    E-143 Poole Agricultural Center, PO Box 340319
    Clemson, SC 29634
    p: (864) 656-7433
    Sarah, WateR3 project director, will evaluate remediation technologies targeting nutrient and pathogen contaminants.

  • Paul Fisher

    Dr Paul Fisher**

    Environmental Horticulture Department
    University of Florida
    2549 Fifield Hall, PO Box 110670
    Gainesville FL 32611-0670
    p: 352 273 4581
    f: 352 392 3870
    Paul leads outreach efforts for WateR3 and the Water Education Alliance for Horticulture, and undertaking research on filtration and chemical remediation.

California

  • Darren Haver

    Dr Darren Haver*

    South Coast Research & Extension Center
    University of California
    7601 Irvine Blvd.
    Irvine, CA 92618
    p: (949) 653-1814
    Darren will manage the collection of water samples in Southern California, and assist in developing and delivering workshops.

  • Lorence Oki

    Dr Lorence Oki*

    Department of Plant Sciences
    University of California, Davis
    One Shields Avenue 1110 Env Hort
    Davis, CA 95616-8587
    p: (530) 754-4135
    Lorence studies irrigation and runoff management in nurseries, and effect of water quality on plant growth.

Connecticut

  • Rosa E Raudales

    Dr. Rosa E Raudales*

    Plant Science and Landscape Architecture
    University of Connecticut
    1376 Storrs Rd.
    Storrs,CT 06269

    p: 860 486 6043
    Rosa is interested in improving water management in the green industry, specially in closed irrigation systems.

Florida

  • Paul Fisher

    Dr Paul Fisher**

    Environmental Horticulture Department
    University of Florida
    2549 Fifield Hall, PO Box 110670
    Gainesville FL 32611-0670
    p: 352 273 4581
    f: 352 392 3870
    Paul leads outreach efforts for WateR3 and the Water Education Alliance for Horticulture, and undertaking research on filtration and chemical remediation.

  • Alexa Lamm

    Dr Alexa Lamm*

    Department of Agricultural Education and Communication
    University of Florida
    121F Bryant Hall
    Gainesville, FL 32611
    p: (352) 392-6545
    Alexa will be using social science research techniques to identify specific factors that influence growers' decision making, which will guide Extension materials development.

  • Laura Warner

    Dr Laura Warner*

    Department of Agricultural Education and Communication
    University of Florida
    117 Bryant Hall, PO Box 112060
    Gainesville, FL 32611
    p: (352) 273-0202
    Laura is part of the sociology team conducting grower perceptions research that will guide Extension materials development.

  • P. Christopher Wilson

    Dr P. Christopher Wilson*

    Soil and Water Science Department
    University of Florida
    2181 McCarty Hall A, PO BOX 110290
    Gainesville, FL 32611-0290
    p: (352) 294-3151
    Chris will evaluate the efficacy of using a treatment train bioreactor system to manipulate oxidation-reduction potentials to target removal of both nitrogen and phosphorus from production runoff.

  • Phil Harmon

    Dr Phil Harmon*

    Plant Pathology
    University of Florida
    p: (352) 392-3631 x 340
    Phil provides expertise on the biology of pathogens found in greenhouse water, helping to author the Alliance's article on pathogen biology in GMPro.

  • Maria del Pilar Paz

    Maria del Pilar Paz**

    Environmental Horticulture Department
    University of Florida
    1533 Fifield Hall, PO Box 110670
    Gainesville, FL 32611-0670
    p: (352) 273-4522
    Maria will undertake research on filtration and chemical remediation, and aid with extension activities including this website.

Kentucky

  • Dewayne Ingram

    Dr Dewayne Ingram*

    Department of Horticulture
    University of Kentucky
    N-308F Agri. Science Center
    Lexington, KY 40546-0091
    p: (859) 257-8903
    Dewayne specializes in water footprint and carbon footprint of water for the model production system components using life cycle assessment.

Maryland

  • John Lea-Cox

    Dr John Lea-Cox*

    Plant Science & Landscape Architecture
    University of Maryland
    2120 Plant Sciences Building
    College Park, MD 20742
    p: (301) 405-4323
    John will focus on water and nutrient management to reduce contaminant loading into recycled water systems.

  • Andrew Ristvey

    Dr Andrew Ristvey*

    Plant Science & Landscape Architecture
    University of Maryland
    124 Wye Narrows Drive
    Queenstown, MD 21658-0169
    p: (410) 827-8056 x 113
    Andrew research focus is water and nutrient management in production of container-grown ornamentals.

  • Cassandra Swett

    Dr Cassandra Swett*

    Plant Science & Landscape Architecture
    University of Maryland
    2106 Plant Sciences Building
    College Park, MD 20742-4452
    p: (301) 405-5586
    Cassandra will focus on management of latent Phytophthora infections in nursery stock through microsensor-mediated irrigation.

Massachusetts

  • Rob Wick

    Dr Rob Wick*

    p: 413-545-1045
    Rob is a Professor at the University of Massachusetts where he supervises the diagnostic laboratory. With a research focus on plant bacterial and fungal diseases, Rob provides expertise in understanding the biology of pathogens found in irrigation water. He has helped author Alliance articles in GMPro magazine.

  • Rick Yates

    Rick Yates*

    Technical Support Manager
    Griffin Greenhouse & Nursery Supplies
    Rick is the Technical Support Manager at Griffin Greenhouse and Nursery Supplies. He has been very generous in providing his expertise on chlorine dioxide to the Alliance, helping us both in the planning of workshops and the preparation of articles for GMPro.

Michigan

  • Bridget Behe

    Dr Bridget Behe*

    Dept. of Horticulture
    Michigan State University
    1066 Bogue St.
    East Lansing, MI 48824-1325
    p: (517) 355-5191 x 1346
    Bridget will conduct consumer research to better understand how plant consumers will react to marketing and merchandising that includes information about a plant’s water use in production and in the landscape.

  • Bert Cregg

    Dr Bert Cregg*

    Dept. of Horticulture
    Michigan State University
    A214 Plant & Soil Sciences Building
    East Lansing MI 48824-1325
    p: (517) 355-5191 x 1335
    Bert is investigating the effects of recycled and remediated water on plant growth, quality and physiology.

  • Thomas Fernandez

    Dr Thomas Fernandez*

    Department of Horticulture
    Michigan State University
    A216 Plant & Soil Science Building
    East Lansing, MI 48824-1325
    p: (517) 355-5191 x 1336
    Thomas will develop a model to manage nutrient and pathogen loads in irrigation runoff, and evaluate water treatment technologies.

  • Bill Argo

    Dr Bill Argo*

    Bill is a Technical Manager at Blackmore with an interest in plant nutrition, media, and water. Bill helped author the Alliance's first article in GMPro magazine, and is helping to coordinate upcoming Alliance workshops in the northeast.

Ontario

  • Youbin Zheng

    Dr Youbin Zheng*

    Department of Environmental Biology
    University of Guelph
    Guelph, Ontario
    Canada
    p: 519- 824-4120 Ext. 52741
    An Adjunct Professor at the University of Guelph (Canada), Youbin conducts research on many aspects of greenhouse production, including water disinfestation technologies. Youbin will be an author on several of the Alliance's articles in GMPro magazine.

Oregon

  • Jennifer Parke

    Dr Jennifer Parke*

    Department of Botany and Plant Pathology
    Oregon State University
    Corvallis, OR 97331
    p: (541) 737-8170
    Jennifer conducts research on management of Phytophthora spp. in nurseries.

South Carolina

  • Sarah White

    Dr Sarah White*

    School of Agricultural, Forest, and Environmental Sciences
    Clemson University
    E-143 Poole Agricultural Center, PO Box 340319
    Clemson, SC 29634
    p: (864) 656-7433
    Sarah, WateR3 project director, will evaluate remediation technologies targeting nutrient and pathogen contaminants.

  • Daniel Hitchcock

    Dr Daniel Hitchcock*

    School of Agricultural, Forest, and Environmental Sciences
    Clemson University
    P.O. Box 596
    Georgetown, SC 29442-0596
    p: (843) 546-1013 x 236
    Dan leads the nursery operation modeling and water management system simulation team.

Texas

  • Charlie Hall

    Dr Charlie Hall*

    Department of Horticultural Sciences
    Texas A&M University
    2133 TAMU
    College Station, TX 77843-2133
    p: (979) 458-3277
    Charlie will focus on the economic analysis of water management strategies and assess the economics of developed models.

Virginia

  • Laurie Fox

    Dr Laurie Fox*

    Hampton Roads Agricultural Research and Extension Center
    Virginia Tech
    1444 Diamond Springs Rd
    Virginia Beach, VA 23455-3315
    p: (757) 363-3807
    Laurie will assist with coordinating and overseeing the floating Treatment Wetland research in Virginia.

  • Saurav Kumar

    Dr Saurav Kumar*

    Virginia Tech
    p: (703) 361-5606 x 137
    Saurav will assist in development and deployment of the online decision support tool to aid growers of containerized crop production systems and also assist in implementing the data management plan for the project.

  • Jim Owen

    Dr Jim Owen*

    Department of Horticulture
    Virginia Tech
    1444 Diamond Springs Road
    Virginia Beach, VA 23455
    p: (757) 363-3904
    Jim will evaluate treatment technologies for remediation of total suspended solids and mineral nutrients under controlled conditions and in commercial ornamental nurseries.

  • David Sample

    Dr David Sample*

    Department of Biological Systems Engineering
    Virginia Tech
    1444 Diamond Springs Rd.
    Virginia Beach, VA 23455
    p: (757) 363-3835
    David will assist in the development of a decision support tool to manage nutrient, carbon, water, and monetary flows in nurseries and conduct a research study on the effectiveness of floating wetlands for treatment of nursery runoff.

  • Chuanxue Hong

    Dr Chuanxue Hong*

    Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
    Dr. Hong's research program focuses on biology and management of plant pathogens in irrigation water. He has lent his expertise to the Alliance's GMPro articles on chlorination, and his knowledge of Pythium and Phythopthora is an asset to the group.

* Clean WateR3 project member
* Water Education Alliance member

 

The Water Education Alliance for Horticulture is supported by several grant-funded projects and contributions from our industry sponsors.

If you are interested in contributing to the Alliance, please contact Paul Fisher at pfisher@ufl.edu.

 

If you have questions or comments about water quality, technologies, or monitoring, we would like to hear from you.

We also encourage inquiries from other organizations and researchers interested in participating in the Alliance.

Please send us a message at watereducationalliance@gmail.com.

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