It’s quite well known that agriculture uses more freshwater, by far, than any other industry in the world (around 70%) with the majority of this used for irrigation. With around 50% of irrigation water wasted due to poor infrastructure and run-off, it makes you wonder why so much of a limited resource is being wasted.
Spraying water aimlessly seems to be on the way out whilst a new technique called drip irrigation is on the up with many feeling this is the way forward for farmers to save both energy and water. Traditional irrigation methods require a lot of energy for pumping however drip irrigation does not as it can run with much less pressure.
Long plastic tubes ‘drip’ water to the necessary areas, at the root of the plant so that water is not wasted where it is not needed, like traditional spraying methods. This is now being used across a large range of different arable farms as it can be used without having to flatten a field (for even distribution) and without much fertiliser.
So why don’t all farmers use this revolutionary method? Well quite a large initial investment is needed along with careful consideration as to exactly where the water needs to drip. But you know what, who cares? In a time where water shortage is becoming an increasingly serious problem, it’s innovations like this which should be subsidised since it’s a proven technique that reduce water and energy costs in the long term. Let’s not assume it will totally eradicate traditional irrigation as it will not, but the strain will be slightly reduced if even a small percentage took this notion on board.
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