Irrigation Modernization enables a foundation for implementing forward-thinking solutions that can advance new technology, improve community resiliency and mitigate the increased risks from natural disasters.
Modernizing irrigation infrastructure can decrease inputs needed to grow crops, improve agricultural yields and quality, decrease contaminants running off agricultural fields, reduce the energy required to pump water across the landscape, allow for more and cleaner water in streams and rivers, and help fish access high-quality habitat.
Natural disasters, such as increasingly catastrophic wildfires, pose new threats to rural communities, including extended power grid shutdowns to reduce fire risks during the hot summer months. Locally-connected projects will help to provide power to critical services in the face of these threats.
A significant barrier to improving telecommunication and energy infrastructure in rural areas is the great expense associated with siting, right-of-way, engineering, permitting and installation. Pipeline projects already cover most of these costs, improving the feasibility of installing fiber optic and electric distribution lines while creating multiple benefits.
Since the cost of these projects would be developed concurrently with the investment in agricultural infrastructure, both the expense and timeline of these renewable energy systems can be dramatically reduced. By including additions such as fiber optic, transmission, batteries, controllers, and charging stations alongside modernization, entirely new opportunities develop for community-scale renewable energy.