Agricultural Usage of Water
Agriculture can be a burden on the environment. Over usage of water can lead to issues affecting surrounding flora and fauna, lack of fresh water for other human consumption, and even the deformation of the land itself. Awareness of best practices for water usage can lessen and eliminate all of these issues.
Resource Dilemma with Agricultural Usage of Water
People generally consider anything with agriculture to be “green”, aware of the environment and good for it. However this is just not true. Nearly anything done poorly can have negative side effects. Luckily the first step to a solution for any case of this is to be proactive in discovering new ways to improve and optimize your tasks. Knowing there is a problem is half the battle.
Water consumption via agriculture is a huge resource dilemma, the farmers must determine if they should take only a fair share of the water or as much as needed to help their situation ( Schneider 2013 ). Many farmers overwater their plants in a variety of different ways. Some do a flood type of system where they pump in water at one end of the field and wait till it runs down to the lower side before stopping. This does water everything well but there is much waste in over saturating the plants at the top of the field as well as evaporation stealing the water (Groundwater deletion, n.d.). Overwatering also occurs when farmers ignore weather forecasts and water their fields twice. Farmers will also waste water by growing plants that are not used to their climate and may require more water than what they should.
Overwatering of fields has many negative effects. This act can lead to depletion of nearby rivers and streams thus impacting surrounding flora and fauna. Also effected by this lack of water can be other humans. So often during summer people are asked to conserve water and if irrigation for farming wasn’t so high these restrictions would not be in place. Even more shocking is that removing water from the ground can cause subsidence, where the ground level physically drops (Groundwater depletion, n.d.).
Overuse of water by farmers can be overcome in many different ways, but here are just a few. Drip irrigation counters flood irrigation. The water is dripped directly to the roots of each plant without over saturating any plants or losing water to evaporation. Observing weather forecasts and only watering plants when there is no rainfall in the future is a sure way to conserve. Planting crops that are native to the farmers area and require what the natural rainfall provides will also save water (CUESE, n.d.).
Overuse of water for agricultural purposes is bad. Its a financial burden the farmers do not need, when less water would suffice. It harms the eco-system and neighbors with man made droughts and un-needed and sometimes dangerous sinking of land. And most importantly it can be fixed with a little bit of research and a little bit of effort.
10 Ways Farmers Are Saving Water | CUESA. (n.d.). Retrieved September 26, 2015, from http://www.cuesa.org/article/10-ways-farmers-are-saving-water
Groundwater depletion. (n.d.). Retrieved September 26, 2015, from http://water.usgs.gov/edu/gwdepletion.html
Schneider, F. W., Gruman, J. A., and Coutts, L. M. (Eds.) (2012). Applied Social Psychology: Understanding and Addressing Social and Practical Problems (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. ISBN 978- 1412976381