The International Committee on Irrigation and Drainage (ICID) presented the prestigious WatSave award to Werner and Herbert Arns of Brazil on October 5, 2007 for their innovative and efficient use of water while growing rice. The WatSave award recognizes persons for their 'outstanding contributions to water saving in agriculture' around the world.



The Arns' have spent the past eight years improving their rice production practices by converting their irrigation to Valley center pivots. They have slowly replaced a large portion of their surface irrigated fields with center pivots, and have realized a water savings of more than 50 percent while harvesting above average yields. Through the use of center pivots, the Arns' produce an average of 11.8 kg of rice/mm of water, as compared to approximately 6 kg of rice/mm of water with traditional surface irrigation. The Arns' started small in 1999 with a center pivot covering only three hectares (7.5 acres). After receiving positive results from this small pivot, they have since grown their pivot operation to over 250 hectares (620 acres).



Due to the exceptional findings from this experiment and the potential for extraordinary water savings worldwide, Valmont Irrigation and ICID have agreed to pursue further experiments on this topic. These experiments will focus on conserving water and increasing the number of center pivots used to grow rice in key rice-producing countries and throughout the world.



The Valley brand has been recognized worldwide as the leader in sales, service, quality and innovation since Valmont founded the mechanized irrigation industry in 1954. With historical sales of more than 145,000 center pivots and linears, Valmont-built equipment irrigates approximately 6 million hectares (15 million acres) around the world. The Nebraska-based company remains dedicated to providing innovative solutions now and well into the future.