Pipe maker seeks to reduce irrigation water use in Delta

LITTLE ROCK — An Arkansas pipe manufacturer said Thursday it is launching an effort to reduce irrigation water use in the Mississippi Delta by 20 percent by 2020.

Little Rock-based Delta Plastics said the project, known as The Delta Plastics H2O Initiative, will provide software called Pipe Planner to farmers at no charge to help them create the most efficient irrigation systems for their crops. The company estimated that using the software would result in average water savings of 25 to 50 percent, plus an average 25 percent reduction in energy costs.

The initiative also will create a partnership between Delta Plastics and the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture, Mississippi State University and other universities in the region; host forums for farmers, university extension agents, and private consultants to teach them how to use Pipe Planner; and allow participants to collaborate on the most efficient water use practices.

Delta Plastics said the initiative is motivated by declining water levels in the region and the need for the agriculture industry to embrace new sustainability practices.