July brings out the patriot in all of us and it certainly makes me think of the Bill of Rights, the Irrigation Consumer Bill of Rights that is. The Irrigation Training and Research Center at California Polytechnic State University developed the Irrigation Bill of Rights in 1994. This was long before manufactures starting thinking about putting other fillers in your tubing instead of 100% virgin resin. They were ahead of their time and just like the other Bill of Rights, their document is standing the test of time.
Why Do We Need A Consumer Bill of Rights For Irrigation
The Irrigation Training and Research Center tells us a discussion of the items in the Bill of Rights will help you make wiser selections of design options, and to appreciate the obligations of both yourself and the dealer in creating your irrigation system. The cost of labor, water and materials are high enough now to take a careful look at the information. In addition, information is readily accessible and we are all challenged to be informed consumers.
Regulation on the industry is increasing. As consumers and business owners we need to understand the rules and regulations to make sure we make responsible choices. Health and safety is creating stricter standards for the industry and we are going to see more water legislation in the future.
Consumers are smarter today. They demand more information to understand the products they are buying. The Consumer Bill of Rights for Irrigation provides an excellent outline for understanding irrigation products. Consumers will use their dollars to express their trust and confidence. As a consumer, seller or designer you should have the answers to these discussion points.
Finally, as an industry we should strive to set a high standard for our products and services. We need to take steps to self regulate or be subject to additional regulations from lawmakers who know less about irrigation. In addition, most of our work takes place with a high level of trust from individuals. Most consumers don’t worry about the quality of their water. They trust the food we grow and the landscapes we water are done in a safe manner that will cause them no harm. This is a big responsibility and we have Flint, Michigan as a reminder of the ramifications of a breakdown in the water system.