Use of water in modernized Agriculture

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Use of water in modernized Agriculture

It is expedient I state that Agriculture will remain the dominant user of water at the global level. In many countries, in particular those situated in the arid and semi-arid regions of the world, including west African states, this dependency can be expected to intensify. The contribution of irrigated agriculture to food production is substantial but in future the rate of growth will be lower than in the past. Both irrigated and non-irrigated agriculture still have scope for increasing productivity, including water productivity. Arguably, the expansion of irrigated agriculture protected people on the nutritional fringe from premature death, and preserved tracts of land under forest and wetlands from encroachment by hard-pressed farmers especially in places like Nigeria.

To start with,a quick look at Google  put forward Agricultural water as a water that is used to grow fresh produce and sustain livestock. The use of agricultural water makes it possible to grow fruits and vegetables and raise livestock, which is a main part of our diet. Agricultural water is used for irrigation, pesticide External and crop cooling (for example, light irrigation), and frost control.
According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), water used for irrigation accounts for nearly 65 percent of the world’s freshwater withdrawals excluding thermoelectric. There are 330 million acres of land used for agricultural purposes in the United States that produce an abundance of food and other products
When agricultural water is used effectively and safely, production and crop yield are positively affected. A decrease in applied water can cause production and yield to decrease. Management strategies are the most important way to improve agricultural water use and maintain optimal production and yield. The key is to implement management strategies that improve water use efficiency without decreasing yield. Some examples include improved irrigation scheduling and crop specific irrigation management. These strategies allow for the conservation of water and energy, and decrease grower’s costs.(Google.com)

On the same vein,farm water, also known as agricultural water, is water committed for use in the production of food and fibre. On average, 80 percent of the fresh water withdrawn from rivers and groundwater is used to produce food and other agricultural products. Farm water may include water used in the irrigation of crops or the watering of livestock.

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s water scarcity grows as a global concern, food security is also brought into consideration. A recent example of this could be the drought in California—it is projected that for every $100 spent on foods from this state, a consumer should expect to pay up to $15 additionally.
While it is evident that water use affects environmental degradation and economic growth, it is also sparking innovation regarding new irrigation methods. In 2006, the USDA predicted that if the agricultural sector improves water efficiency by just 10 percent farms could annually save upwards of $200 million per year. Many of the practices which cut water use are cost effective. Farmers who use straw, compost, or mulch around their crops will reduce evaporation by about 75 percent. This would also reduce the number of weeds and save a farmer from using herbicides. Mulches or ground covers also allow the soils to absorb more water by reducing compaction. The use of white or pale gravel is also practiced, as it reduces evaporation and keeps soil temperatures low by reflecting sunlight.
In addition to reducing water loss at the sink, there are also more sustainable ways to harvest water. Many modern small (non industrial) farmers are using rain barrels to collect the water needed for their crops and livestock.  This would also greatly reduce the stress on local aquifers and wells. Because farmers use the roofs of their buildings to gather this water, this also reduced rainwater runoff and soil erosion on and around their farm.

Below are the water quality-related problems in an irrigated Agriculture:
SALINITY
Salts in soil or water reduce water availability to the crop to such an extent that yield is affected.
WATER INFILTRATION RATE
Relatively high sodium or low calcium content of soil or water reduces the rate at which irrigation water enters soil to such an extent that sufficient water cannot be infiltrated to supply the crop adequately from one irrigation to the next.
SPECIFIC ION TOXICITY
Certain ions (sodium, chloride, or boron) from soil or water accumulate in a sensitive crop to concentrations high enough to cause crop damage and reduce yields.
MISCELLANEOUS
Excessive nutrients reduce yield or quality; unsightly deposits on fruit or foliage reduce marketability; excessive corrosion of equipment increases maintenance and repairs.
Ultimately, Water is one of the most fundamental parts of the global economy. It has been shown that in areas without healthy water resources or sanitation services, economic growth cannot be sustained. Without access to clean water, nearly every industry would suffer, most notably, would be agriculture.

Written in commemoration of the world water day,2019.
Written by: Al-Mustapha Ibrahim I
University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Nigeria.
Edited by: Campus Agriculture Network Editorial Board.
(References: www.google.com)

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