Preserving Water Security
by tpalm1 on April 17, 2015 - 9:46pm
Water scarcity and consumptive water use are becoming a larger issue as time passes. In the U.S. alone we are seeing its looming effects but how bad is the problem and what can we do to manage and help alleviate some of the problem?
Lui and Yang (2010) said that one third of the world’s population already suffer from some level of water stress, while two thirds of the population will as well in the coming decades. They used a GEPIC model to determine the total amount global consumptive water use and found that in most industrialized areas the use exceeded 100 million m3/yr.
In order for agriculture to continue with the “business as usual” mindset, there needs to be management strategies that accommodate the needs of the farmers, while also reducing water use. Roughly, twenty percent, and growing, of the earth’s landmass can be classified as arid. So, how do we farm in areas like this while using limited water resources? According to PHIDA (2015), a possible solution would be managing water use with the help of desert agriculture technology. These techniques utilize drop irrigation and micro-sprinklers to maximize yield, while also minimizing water use.
In order to reduce the looming risk for water scarcity, the key will be effective management of our available resources. Expanding the use of desert farming techniques will help reduce the impact in at-risk areas for increased water stress. Continued research will be the first step in achieving global water security.
Lui, J. and H. Yong. 2010. Spatially explicit assessment of global consumptive water uses in cropland: Green and blue water. Journal of Hydrology 385: 187-197.
PHIDA. 2015. The Importance of Desert Agriculture. Making arid lands productive. [Online]. Phoenix Institute of Desert Agriculture, San Diego, California. Available at: http://phida.us/desert-agriculture/.