South Carolina - Clemson University ( Bill Bauerle)
The research team at Clemson University focuses on accurate water use estimates for nursery and landscape systems. To do so, we develop genotype specific mechanistic based plant models that use distributed data collected by sensor networks to estimate resource needs. The overall intent of our research is to increase our understanding of water use dynamics in intensive agriculture, and to provide management systems that are easily integrated into existing irrigation systems. This will give the industry tools to accurately estimate real-time plant water use and to ultimately schedule irrigation water applications that match actual plant water requirements. By retaining a greater proportion of irrigated and rain fall water in the root-zone, water will be conserved, nutrient runoff will be minimized, and plant growth will be maximized.
The research program at Clemson University compliments the concurrent work at the University of Maryland . Together, the two programs hope to develop and implement a water management system that can 1) reduce wasted water quantities, 2) curtail nutrient leaching and runoff, 3) reduce plant stress from either excess and/or insufficient water applications, and 4) optimize the amount of plant material that can be grown per unit of available water.