Water is one of the key elements on earth and also the source of life. Even though water is a sustainable source that can’t be off-limit but in reality in 2018 there are 1.9 billion people don’t have access to clean water and it’s predicted by 2050 there will be 3 billion people who have a problem accessing clean water. The rapid increase happened because by 2050 the population will have an increase of 2 billion people that equal to 30% water needs. Meanwhile, the agriculture that holds the food supply contributes the 70% water consumption for irrigation, 20% for industrial, 10% for households, and 1% for drinking water. This is why water plays a key role in every aspect of our life.
This year UN-Water sets the theme for World Water Day 2020 “Water and Climate Change”. Water as a sustainable, affordable, and scalable resource could contribute to reducing climate change. For example, wetlands reduce the carbon dioxide in the air through capturing and storing carbon to reduce atmospheric greenhouse gases. It is also providing resilience to hazards such as flooding, storm surge and coastal inundation. That’s why we should start to use the water more responsibly, but how to start it for the agriculture industry, as we know they already consume 70% of all water consumption. Is it possible? Yes, there’s always a way to start for good change. Here are 6 ways to start a small change.
Build an efficient irrigation system
To reduce water consumption in agriculture, irrigation is the first step to start with:
- Make sure the irrigation canal in a good shape and no leakage
- Optimization based on region and season
- Measure the soil moisture to decide water consumption for each plant
- Start using drip irrigation to maximise the water for the plant’s roots only
- Use mulch to reduce the evaporation and avoid unwanted vegetation
Strive for healthy land condition
Healthy soil with rich nutrients could absorb water more and make water consumption more efficient. Reducing the pesticide and inorganic fertilizer consumption could make soil healthier. The other option is to start organic agriculture. Organic agriculture has 2 benefits, the obvious one is to preserve soil nutrients and the other hand to reduce water consumption.
Applying the permaculture principle
Permaculture is a practical method of developing ecologically harmonious, efficient and productive systems that can be used by anyone, anywhere. The permaculture concept is quite similar like integrated agriculture and organic agriculture, but it’s more focused on designing the plan to make it more integrated. For example, Terasering or counter trenches could hold water in slope land and on the other hand it reduces the water consumption for plant watering. You could also start with something simple like a vertical garden or aquaponic at your home.
Greentumble. 23 April 2016. Ways to Reduce Water Consumption on Farms: http://bit.ly/2TsQ8lt