Article by Stacey Stearns Contact Mike O’Neill, Associate Dean & Associate Director, Extension, Storrs, CT 860-486-6270 Angie Harris, Research Assistant, Extension, Storrs, CT 860-486-7176 “New York City is surrounded by water,” Angie Harris says, “I realized it was a great source of beauty, transportation, and recreation. But it was also contaminated and deeply problematic.” Angie grew up in Queens, New York. She realized water was a crucial resource of concern while an undergraduate at New York University studying environmental sciences. The interdependent relationship of farming, water and land was also intriguing to Angie. Precipitation and ecology are critical to success in farming. She earned her masters’ degree in environmental science at the University of Rhode Island and worked as a research fellow at the Environmental Protection Agency in the Global Change Research Program. Angie joined UConn Extension two years ago as the Program Coordinator for the Agriculture Water Security Project. The Agriculture Water Security Project is part of the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)’s Regional Conservation Partnerships Program and promotes conservation assistance to agricultural producers. The program facilitates Extension’s work in ensuring farmers are thinking about and preparing for drought. “I serve as a resource for farmers, gardeners, and homeowners to guide and advise them on water con- servation and drought preparedness and management. I also serve as a network builder and connect them to other existing resources and organizations,” Angie says. “My mission is to increase the adoption of conserva- tion practices and activities throughout the state.” Extension is assessing how much water farmers use, and completed a statewide water use survey on irriga- tion practices and water availability concerns. Next, a pilot metering project at 12 farms tracked their weekly water use for two years. The farms included vegetable, dairy, and nursery and greenhouse operations. “The farmers kept diligent records and it was inspiring to see how they became scientists and water managers. A curiosity emerged around water use and they demonstrated that they really wanted to know how much water they were using and when,” Angie says. A key turning point in the water project came at the end of 2016, a serious drought year for Connecticut. Quantifying Water Use 28 2017 HIGHLIGHTS OF EXTENSION