Earlier this year, and after three years of drought, Cape Town in South Africa was at risk of running out of water. Now, drastic measures are being taken to cut water usage and preserve the precious stores of water that remain.
Cape Town, however, isn’t the only example of a community in water crisis. The reality is that a growing population is putting pressure on the planet’s limited supply of water. There are increasing cases of drought and water restrictions, and the world’s finite water resources are becoming more and more stretched.
A limited supply of freshwater
Only 2.5% of all of the world’s water is freshwater. Of this, almost 68.9% is locked up in ice and snow and another 30.8% is groundwater. That leaves only 0.3% in rivers and lakes that is readily available for use.
That’s not a lot when you think about how essential water is to sustaining life.
World Water Day
Organised by the United Nations, World Water Day (#WorldWaterDay) has been celebrated on the 22nd March since 1993. It’s a chance to focus attention on the importance of water and raise awareness of water quality and quantity issues that we face.
The theme for 2018 is ‘Nature for water‘ — that is exploring nature-based solutions to the water challenges we face in the 21st century.
Agriculture is the world’s largest consumer of freshwater, so it is only fitting that the industry recognises the issues surrounding this precious resource on World Water Day.
Maximising every drop on farm
Over 70 % of the world’s freshwater is used for agriculture. Despite this, water is still a major limiting factor in many agricultural communities. The agriculture industry is expected to increase food production to meet the demands of a growing population, yet they only have access to a finite supply of water and other natural resources.
To overcome this, farmers and scientists are exploring ways to increase yields and reduce water use through the adoption of technology, and by using water in smarter and more efficient ways.
A few examples include:
Water is for life, not just World Water Day
To reduce the cases of water-restricted communities and to alleviate food security concerns, it will take a collaborative approach not from just farmers and scientists, but from the entire world. And while the 22nd March is World Water Day, it’s important to make sure water is a priority 365 days a year.
Click through to here to find out more about water and sustainable agriculture.