Title: Irrigation Nation – Community Supported Agriculture, Millican Reserve, Texas
Sponsor: Dr. Lavell Merritt
Advisors: Dr. Rabi Mohtar, Dr. Guy Fipps
Team Members: Katlin Fox, Sarah Green, Caleb Groves, Melanie Whalley
Millican Reserve is a budding community located on about 3,000 acres and just south of College Station. Central to the community is its commitment to stay connected with nature through sustainability and conservation. One method by which Millican Reserve hopes to accomplish this is to organize a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program that provides local and organic food to the community, while stressing the importance of conservation in agriculture to residents. Most of the members of the board overseeing this co-operative have experience in small-scale, single-family garden plots. They possess the background knowledge necessary to choose crop species appropriate for the climate and soil of College Station, Texas. The BAEN design team is helping the community with crop layout and an irrigation installation plan, while advising and directing the Millican Reserve board regarding their five and ten-year community goals. The objective is to provide a design for a low cost, highly efficient system that maximizes crop growth and remains aesthetically pleasing to the community.
The team is comparing two plots, the first of which has a well that pumps water to a reservoir, which in turn will help supply pressure for the system. Drip irrigation will supply water to crops where the laterals run with the slope. Crops are separated by low and high water requirements with a ditch separating them to help mitigate runoff. Pump and reservoir sizing are based on pressure and flow requirements. Crop scheduling is based on soil type, crop requirements, and flow through the system. The second plot uses a small pump to bring water from a source to the irrigation system. Again, drip irrigation will supply water to crops where the laterals run with the slope and crop scheduling is based on soil type, crop requirements, and flow through the system. Project Deliverables for each of the two plots at Millican Reserve will include cost estimates, irrigation types, crop scheduling plans, and pump & reservoir sizing recommendations.