Responsible Agricultural Water Management
Human population is increasing at higher rate and food, and livestock feeds must double as we head into the future. Agriculture will typically have to demand more water to produce agricultural produce enough to sustain human and animal population. Since time immemorial, the main source of food is agriculture as there is and will never be a technology that can address food security without utilizing land and water. Therefore water is a fundamental aspect in as far as food is concerned. Climate change is greatly affecting agriculture, and it seems that irrigated areas will be on the rise in the coming years. The scope of sustainable water management involves the utmost responsibility of users and managers to ensure that existing water resources are used efficiently to achieve beneficial outcomes (Weindl et al.
This practices will largely involve maintaining a smooth water supply across all seasons, appropriate water management in the rain-fed agricultural areas, proper management of climate change consequences such as droughts, and floods; and adequate protection of the ecosystem. Agricultural water sources are diverse and include rainwater harvesting, desalinated water, surface and groundwater, and recycled wastewater. At the moment future policies initiated to address the issue of water resources are influenced majorly by climate change and variability. Climate change has promoted seasonality problems such as unpredictable rainfall patterns, increased stress on scarce water resources, and growing number of incidences such as floods and droughts (Cosgrove & Loucks, 2015). b) Irrigation scheduling Irrigation scheduling is a typical process of determining when to and when not to irrigate crops.
Irrigation scheduling forms the basis of water conservation and a major contributor to agricultural production optimization. With this method, it is necessary to understand crops water requirements as well as the soil characteristics (Cook & Bakker, 2012). Irrigation scheduling promotes water and energy saving and promotes optimum soil water necessary for plant growth. Normally, irrigation scheduling works best in water-scarce regions than in water-rich regions. The ideal strategies herein include the use of regulated deficit irrigation, subsurface irrigation, and even partial root dying (Jonathan. et al. Deficit irrigation is a water optimization strategy that ensures that crops sustain a certain degree of water deficits without adversely affecting crop yield. With this process, crops are exposed to a certain level of water stress with an objective of increasing water use efficiency (Weindl et al.
This method scrubs irrigations strategies with little impact on yield and further promote agricultural control of vegetative crops in farms. Farmers hardly carry out soil analysis to determine appropriate quantity of fertilizers to apply and in the long term ruin soil quality which considerably affects groundwater quality and water retention degree of soil (Connell & Grafton, 2007). Agrochemicals such as pesticides and herbicides are currently overused, and this continues to wretch havoc on the quality of surface water (Connell and Grafton, 2007). Rational use of chemicals must be implemented as we head into the future in order protect surface water and mainly protect groundwater. Soil management practices alongside the proper use of fertilizers and chemicals will ensure that crops are naturally protected from harm.
In agriculture, some of the most appropriate soil management methods in as far as water conservation is concerned are soil surface tillage, contour tillage, and conservation tillage. This policy will promote water conservation and ensure that farmers do not incur too many costs in agricultural production. For many years agricultural practices have been substandard, and instead of promoting quality yield while protecting soil it undermines soil quality at the expense of short time quality yield. Over-irrigation tends to sweep important way nutrients and potentially ruin soil texture in the long run. Therefore, plant irrigation must be regulated based on underlying crop requirements to offer measured quantity only to crops (Cook & Bakker, 2012). Finally, it is important to encourage sound agricultural practices. References Connell, D.
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