Despite the fact that water is everywhere and the planet is approximately 71% water, nearly all of this is in the ocean. A mere 1% of the water is available at any given time for human use.
No wonder water is in short supply and extreme droughts are becoming more common. Farmers are becoming aware of these issues and are finding ways to save water. They appreciate the importance of the environment and are playing their part. Here are 5 things they are doing to save water
1. Irrigation Scheduling
One of the best ways farmers can save water is to schedule the irrigation of their crops. This means the crops will be water at a specific time and given a specific quantity. Farmers will either choose to do this morning and evening or just in the evening. This is least likely to cause crop burn.
By controlling the amount of water and time it is delivered a significantly less quantity of water is used. To aid in this scheduling and reduce the cost of irrigation, many farmers are turning to traveling irrigators.
These are effectively huge hosepipes on wheels that can be connected up as and when needed.
2. Drip Irrigation
This technique of irrigation is designed to deliver water directly to the roots of the plants. This is where the water is most needed. It allows farmers to use less water as the water is better targeted. This approach also reduces the amount of water lost to evaporation.
It’s estimated that this approach can save as much as 80% of the water they normally use.
Farmers are also undertaking more composting before planting. The compost is designed to retain moisture, reducing the need to water the crops and lowering the amount of water needed each day.
There are many different types of compost available but all will do the same job. They should also decompose and increase the nutrient levels in the soil, that’s good for the crops.
Because most of the water in the world is in the ocean, and therefore too salty for drinking or using on crops, it makes sense to try and use this. Farmers are starting to build desalination plants to remove the salt from the water and then use the water on their crops.
Building a desalination plant can be costly which is why it’s worth several farmers building one together.
The great thing about this approach is there is no need to adjust their irrigation methods. Desalination means using water that would otherwise be unusable.
Another way that farmers are saving water is by collecting their own. Instead of relying on the local water supply and draining the water that the locals need, farmers are building large ponds. The water in these ponds can then be used on their crops, without affecting the general population.
As an added benefit these ponds attract wildlife and become a natural habitat for many animals.