February 2007, Vol. 19, No.2

Briefs

Briefs

Two New CEAP Bibliographies Available Online

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has published two more in a series of current literature surveys covering agricultural conservation programs and the effectiveness of agricultural conservation practices. The two new bibliographies, both available on the Web, were published by the National Agricultural Library (NAL), part of USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS). 

The first new bibliography is “Environmental Effects of Conservation Practices on Grazing Lands,” a guide to recent scientific literature covering environmental effects of conservation practices on grazing lands. This information, according to ARS, is useful in designing policies and on-the-land conservation systems that foster practical and environmentally sound grazing practices.
 
The second bibliography is “Wetlands in Agricultural Landscapes,” a guide to recent scientific literature covering environmental aspects of wetlands in agricultural landscapes. The bibliography highlights research findings in two main areas, including the effect of conservation practices and other agricultural activities on wetlands, and the environmental effects of wetlands as conservation practices, including constructing and restoring wetlands. ARS said this bibliography will facilitate the identification of knowledge gaps regarding effects of conservation practices on ecosystem services provided by wetlands in agricultural landscapes, and will help identify where research is needed. 

The two new publications are in addition to four CEAP bibliographies published by NAL in 2004 and made available on the Web. Altogether, the six bibliographies contain more than 5200 citations with abstracts, where available, and with URLs when the documents are freely available online.

See www.ars.usda.gov/is/pr/2004/041006.2.htm for details.

EPA Dives Into Water Efficiency

In an effort to expand the water efficiency market, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued its first set of specifications to certify professionals in this field. Under the agency’s WaterSense program — a voluntary public–private partnership that identifies and promotes products and programs that help preserve the nation’s water supply — the specifications identify technical standards for certifying landscape irrigation professionals. Certification programs that meet the EPA’s standards are eligible for the WaterSense label.

The specifications announced will allow professionals to become WaterSense partners and use the WaterSense logo to promote their water-efficient landscape and irrigation services to consumers.

“Wasting water through poor irrigation design is like watching your dollars go down the drain,” said EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson.  

The programs will test for the ability to design, install, maintain, and audit water-efficient landscape irrigation systems, including

  • tailoring systems to the surrounding landscape and local climate conditions;
  • selecting equipment, laying out irrigation systems, and setting up proper scheduling; and
  • auditing systems that deliver water unequally or inefficiently and recognizing how to improve performance.

For more information, see www.epa.gov/watersense. Read about certification programs for irrigation professionals at www.epa.gov/watersense/partners/specs/cert.