Water Management For Sustainable Agriculture - Need of the HourWater as a resource in agriculture is also reaching a tipping point with the cons...Water Management For Sustainable Agriculture - Need of the Hour
Water as a resource in agriculture is also reaching a tipping point with the constant challenge to feed and hydrate the ever-increasing population. Climate change consequences related to water resources include increases in temperature, shifts in precipitation patterns and snow cover, and a likely increase in the frequency of flooding and droughts, thus affecting agriculture. One estimate is that agricultural production needs to be scaled up to double by 2050. With as much as 80% of freshwater being consumed for agriculture, we must ensure that water resources are efficiently used to achieve social, environmental, and economic benefits.
IMPORTANCE OF EFFICIENT WATER MANAGEMENT AND EFFICIENCY IN FARMING
While the area under cultivation in the world has grown by around 12–15% over the last fifty years, India has shown stagnation, or even a decline, due to changes in land use, weather patterns, and dwindling farm incomes. Changing weather patterns and erratic rainfall have also accounted for the area under irrigation to go up substantially, with most coming from groundwater extraction. The next contributor is freshwater from aquifers, streams, and lakes. It is estimated that about 2–3 liters of water per capita is sufficient for human consumption, and a whopping 3,000 liters is required to produce the daily food requirements of one person. In India, more than 60% of water consumed for irrigation is taken up by sugarcane and paddy, and this inequity places a lot of pressure on the water cycle. For all these reasons, there is an urgent need to look at sustainable water management in irrigation.