With so many consumers disconnected from the resources needed to grow food, it can sometimes be helpful to have a reminder – especially when it comes to an increasingly precious resource like water. The new $52 million state-of-the-art SMUD Museum of Science and Curiosity in Sacramento offers just such a learning opportunity with dozens of interactive exhibits – including three focused on water.

Mike Wade, executive director of the California Farm Water Coalition, said the exhibits bring home the fact that water is essential to grow our food and that California farmers are leading the world in conserving the precious resource. For example, Wade said one exhibit consists of a touchscreen monitor on which people can drag food items from an illustrated list to your plate. Once they’ve made their selections, they can click the “eat it” button and the display will show the nutrition value and water demand of the foods on the plate. And that in turn shows participants how close they are to meeting their nutritional needs and the amount of water needed to produce that food.

Two other exhibits demonstrate how technology is helping farmers use just the right amount of water to grow their crops and showcase the state’s major water projects and conveyance facilities.

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“It’s always been part of our mission to educate people about the connection between farm water and their food supply. It’s important that everyone know that farmers are using water in an efficient manner and that as consumers, we all depend on farmers,” Wade said.  American AgCredit, CoBank and Farm Credit West collectively pledged $75,000 over five years to help build and maintain the exhibits. Other water exhibit sponsors include: Association of California Water Agencies, California American Water, California Department of Water Resources, Ducks Unlimited Inc., Regional Water Authority, Sacramento Area Sewer District, and Sacramento Regional County Sanitation District.

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