That water scarcity is a deadly serious issue proves, for example, the recent fight over water (there is even talk of war) between farmers among themselves and citizens in civilized France. It is no longer just an issue in underdeveloped areas where you expect it. So as water scarcity and environmental concerns continue to challenge farmers worldwide, it is essential to seek innovative solutions that promote sustainable water use.
Dutch farmer Klaas Schenk, from Anna-Paulowna, sets an inspiring example with his comprehensive water management system. Schenk’s investment in composite drainage, drip irrigation, above-ground water reservoirs and underground water storage demonstrates a holistic approach to water management. By strategically retaining water and making irrigation controllable, he effectively addresses the challenges posed by water scarcity.
One key takeaway from Schenk’s approach is the utilization of compound drainage. By introducing fresh water through the drains, saltwater is kept beneath the soil surface, preserving the quality of irrigation water. This technique can be adapted and applied in various regions facing similar salinity issues.
Farmers can benefit from incorporating technology and precision agriculture tools to optimize irrigation schedules, reduce water waste, and improve crop yields
Furthermore, Schenk’s emphasis on monitoring soil moisture and using forecasting models, such as Irriwatch, showcases the significance of data-driven decision-making. Farmers can benefit from incorporating technology and precision agriculture tools to optimize irrigation schedules, reduce water waste, and improve crop yields. Another great example of the same kind of technology comes from Australian company Athena IR-Tech, which also provides farmers with in-depth insight into the water needs of their crops.
Collaboration with relevant stakeholders is another key aspect of Schenk’s success. By partnering with companies like Pipelife and actively participating in research projects, he leverages collective expertise and resources. Farmers worldwide should embrace similar collaborations, fostering knowledge exchange and facilitating the adoption of sustainable water management practices.
Genetic enginering is a technological development with perhaps the biggest impact in the next decade to make crop cultivation more drought-resistant
There is only one more important aspect that is underexposed in the example of the Dutch arable farmer; genetic engineering. A technological development with perhaps the biggest impact in the next decade to make crop cultivation more drought-resistant. Like, for example, in Australia, where modified wheat can be sown as much as ten centimetres (3.9 inches) deep for better emergence in dry soils.
The integration of innovative techniques, data-driven decision-making, collaboration, and policy advocacy offers valuable insights and practical solutions for addressing water scarcity challenges. By embracing such practices, farmers globally can enhance water-use efficiency, mitigate environmental impacts, and ensure a sustainable future for agriculture.