water conservation in agriculture
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water conservation in agriculture
This magazine was created by Katie Blake and Jessie Meltzer to educate our APES class about water conservation in agriculture.
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​ ​Agriculture is a major source of wasted water in the United States. Within agriculture, our country wastes an immense amount of water on irrigation every year. Cheap and easy ways to irrigate crops ends up wasting millions of gallons of water. By using more efficient and conserving methods, like spray irrigation, we could save this water and put it to a good use. In addition, simply measuring water accurately and determining exactly how much water the soil needs can greatly decrease the amount of water wasted on agriculture. Another important irrigation method to consider is drip irrigation. Many regard drip irrigation due to its cost compared to flood or furrow irrigation, however, it is optimal for water conservation. Drip irrigation is becoming increasingly affordable and effective and should be used in all agricultural procedures. By changing irrigation methods, the overall goal is to minimize the evaporation and runoff of water, which both lead to water loss.
​Related to the consideration of various irrigation methods, is a different type of agriculture all together. Hydroponic agriculture grows plants in an unconventional way, using nutrient-rich solutions instead of soil. It is related to irrigation in that it uses water very effectively. The water is fed directly to plants and the run-off is collected and reused. This type of agriculture saves money, space, and resources. Many farms are and should be changing to it instead of more traditional farming methods. It could completely reshape the economies of many Midwestern states and that of the country as a whole. The incredible job of switching all U.S. farms over to this emerging process would be difficult, but worth it.
Conserving water in agriculture can be done in a multitude of ways. Whether is be switching types of irrigation or completely changing the method of agriculture, water can and should be preserved. Water is a vital part of our lives, and will eventually run out if we are not careful. We need to learn how to live sustainably, so future generations may live as we do. We take water for granted, constantly using more than we need. This uncontrolled waste of water can be controlled. By updating our methods of agriculture, millions of gallons of water can be saved each year. This water can be used to nourish the future. Spread the word about drip irrigation and hydroponic agriculture. You could save water, drop by drop. Every drop counts when it comes to conserving water. Stop taking water for granted and start conserving it.
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Irrigation with seawater

Irrigation with seawater | water conservation in agriculture | Scoop.it

A system is being created in order to allow crops to be irrigated with seawater. Nearly 98% of water on the earth’s surface is salty and considered “unusable” for agriculture. The ability to use seawater for irrigation will eliminate genetically modified crops and treatment for soil. It will decrease the amount of wasted water in agriculture and will allow access to water for people who are not near a freshwater source. This method utilizes evaporation and natural processes instead of pumps and high pressure. Only clean and pure water will get to the plants due to a membrane that will collect any contamination. This program will improve drinking water, sanitation, and agriculture techniques.


Via W. Robert de Jongh
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Spray Irrigation

Spray Irrigation | water conservation in agriculture | Scoop.it

This type of irrigation is called spray irrigation, which is 75 to 95 percent efficient. The drawback is that this type uses more water and money than other types of irrigation like furrow or flood irrigation.

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Farmers working on merging irrigation technology into one system

Farmers working on merging irrigation technology into one system | water conservation in agriculture | Scoop.it

Berg Farms in Washington, Oregon is attempting to find a way to grow crops efficiently while saving money and water. This farm is part of a project by Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance. They toured Berg Farm and found soil probes, soil mapping, weather data, and infrared photos being used. After seeing this, their goal is to create a way to combine all of these tools and see higher efficiency and water savings, creating more profit. This program goes hand in hand with one created by Columbia-Snake River Irrigators Association, the Benton and Franklin conservation districts and the state Department of Ecology. If farmers save water, half of the saved water can be kept to benefit their agriculture while the other half stays in the river. The program is also testing a new method on Berg Farms where different amounts of water are applied at different parts of the field simultaneously. The program is still in its beginning phases and hopes to make considerable strides in the coming years.


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Hydroponic Agriculture

Hydroponic Agriculture | water conservation in agriculture | Scoop.it

This image is a representation of hydroponic agriculture. This technique conserves water which could possibly lead to the end of droughts.

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Record Droughts Plague US Farmers - Is Hydroponic Agriculture the Solution? - Rosebud Magazine Hydroponics Lifestyle Growing And Entertainment!

Record Droughts Plague US Farmers - Is Hydroponic Agriculture the Solution? - Rosebud Magazine Hydroponics Lifestyle Growing And Entertainment! | water conservation in agriculture | Scoop.it
This past year has badly affected the farmers of the United States because the growing season has been so dry. This has a very negative effect on the national economy and especially the economies of agriculturally-driven states like Kentucky and Indiana. Some believe that the solution to the drought problem could be hydroponic agriculture. This is a way to grow plants in nutrient-rich solutions without the use of soil. Using hydroponic agriculture greatly reduces the amount of water used because the water is directly fed to plants. In addition, the excess water is collected an reused so there is no waste or run-off. It would be quite a job to convert all American farming practices over to this one, but it might be worth it.
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Graphical Representation of Water Usage

Graphical Representation of Water Usage | water conservation in agriculture | Scoop.it

The top graph shows the growth in population of the city of San Diego. More importantly, the bottom graph shows the corresponding usage of water for the city. As far as agricultural usage goes, the trend has actually been downward. This shows how effective the water conservation efforts in agriculture have been for this city.

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