Over the past year and a half, our Vice President of Planning and Landscape Architecture Michael Cook, has been involved with two different committees of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers for nationwide standards in water and irrigation. The American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers is an international scientific and educational organization dedicated to the advancement of engineering applicable to agricultural, food, and biological systems. Its 9,000 members, from more than 100 countries, are consultants, managers, researchers, and others who have the training and experience to understand the interrelationships between technology and living systems.
Michael has been involved with standard X623, Standardized Procedure for Determining Landscape Plant Water Requirements, and standard X627, Standardized Testing Protocol for Weather-based or Soil Moisture-based Landscape Irrigation Control Devices. These standards will potentially provide nationwide standards (where currently there are either regionally or state based standards). By standardizing nationally, landscape architects, designers and contractors will more easily be able to work in multiple states or regions.
Standard X623 has an objective to “…describe a methodology to estimate net landscape plant water requirements of permanently installed, non-production based, established landscape materials. The standard will provide minimum water requirements for acceptable plant appearance and function.
The procedure may include information and techniques to aid decisions for potential deficit watering to maintain plants under minimum survival requirements (drought conditions). ” Michael’s experience with irrigation standards, knowledge of plant-based needs and internal knowledge of what California, as well as other states, have accomlished has proven to be irreplaceable.
“As the demand on water resources and the importance of water use efficiency grow, water agencies, regulators, land owners, landscape managers, and others are relying more heavily on irrigation controllers that use real-time weather or soil-moisture data to determine irrigation needs and scheduling. The new document will standardize the methods for testing such controllers.” Standard X627 will have extreme importance as these controllers become standard nationwide.
Michael has been involved significantly as Chair of subcommittees and the knowledge source for multiple different subcommittees. It has been his pleasure to assist ASABE in their efforts.