Nature is My Livelihood

New technology is helping farmers protect Georgia's fresh water for the future. All photos © Bridget Besaw

Preston Jimmerson stands in front of a center pivot on his family farm in Camilla, Ga., near the Flint River.

Preston is bringing innovative water-saving practices to his fields through a powerful partnership made up of the Conservancy, the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Flint River Soil and Water Conservation District.

Irrigation systems are retrofitted with new nozzles that are closer to the ground, meaning less water is lost to evaporation.

Variable Rate Irrigation (VRI) is GPS-based technology that makes it possible to selectively turn nozzles off as the irrigation system approaches specific areas that don’t need water, such as this creek.

In combination, these and other new practices are reducing annual water use on farms throughout the river basin in a dry year by an estimated 15 billion gallons.

The new technologies help Preston make smart decisions. “It’s given me the confidence to know that I’m doing the exact right thing at the exact right time,” he said.

Preston and his daughter, Kate, are just two of the thousands of Georgians who depend on the Flint River basin for their clean water.

Preston grows peanuts and cotton, but many neighboring farmers depend on the Flint River basin to irrigate other crops, such as corn and pecans.

Preston knows that his water conservation efforts will benefit his daughter and son, Jake, in the future.

With your help, we can protect the Flint River and other freshwater ecosystems for people and nature.


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