Sustaining Our Aquifers
@All, one of the reasons why I joined this part of the forum is because I believe that in 50 years that the U.S. may find itself in the middle of a food shortage. With it's population expected to grow by 100 million or more people and with shrinking aquifers like the Ogallala,
Without an ensured supply of fresh water, food production can only decrease, In the western part of the United States, many aquifers are slowly being depleted because rain and snow fall which they relied upon is not enough to replenish them from industrial uses which would include farming.
The Free Energy Principle I discussed was with this in mind. If large amounts of water can not be desalinated and moved rather economically, many problems could arise. A current example of this is the Aral Sea which has dried up as the water that replenished it is used for irrigation.
As demand grows for that water and the crops it produces, then crop rotation may be halted which could further harm the land. Demand over time can bring about a harsh reality.
And with the world population expected to grow by some estimates, 2.5 billion people in the next 50 years, land and water management should be important considerations now. And if something like the Heron based pump can work, then pressure heads could perform the work to desalinate sea water and allow it to move into the interiors of countries where barren land might be made fertile again.
And with places like the Aral Sea, it might once again be able to support a small fishing industry helping to restore the natural ecological system that once existed there.
And if in places like Sudan, Egypt, Chad or Libya could have people go from subsistence farming to commercialized farming.
And this brings me back to my own country. Many farmers only be able to farm as the weather permits, i.e.., if there is sufficient rain fall. And this would take us back 100 years as far as farming goes.
And in another part of the forum, someone suggested to me a Greenhouse type desalinator which might work well enough. If so, then where the temperature is around 40 degrees Celsius, fresh water might be able to be generated and moved with out using any fossil fuels which are harmful to our planet.
Unfortunately, irrigable land and the water it needs may be the keys to sustainable agriculture. Even in the Eastern U.S. where I live,I have seen farmers plow under their crops because of a lack of rain fall. I can't say for certain, but if populations keep increasing, then putting farmers into a position where they can succeed would seem to be good for everyone who looks down on them as being nothing more than simple farmers. Those people and anyone who likes to eat :-)