How to save water in agriculture

Paola E. Haiat
April 14, 2021

Water is an invaluable commodity. Our life is closely related to water’s composition of oxygen and hydrogen, and even more so our food. Between 70% to 80% of the world's water consumption is used for agriculture, which is why saving water in agriculture and optimize how it’s usage are two of the most pressing issues in recent years.

According to The water food print, 962 liters of water are needed to produce one kilo of fruit, while 322 liters are needed to produce one kilo of vegetables. However, fruits and vegetables are not the only products that require water: there are cereals (1,644 liters), or the animals we eat both in the consumption of meat (15,415 liters) and its derivatives such as milk (1,020 liters) or eggs (3,265 liters).

To illustrate this, The water foodprint tells us that if we were to make a cheese sandwich we would consume 56 gallons of water! Furthermore, if we continue to add items such as lettuce and a slice of turkey ham, we add up to 162 gallons in one of the most common foods of the everyday life! Difficult to believe, don't you think?

 

water footprint vegetables

The problem in developing strategies to prevent water loss has been, until now, that eachcity, region or country independently handled its own issues. However, in recent years, water saving has become a global problem that requires global solutions to help conserve resources. Consumption is inevitable, but responsible use is a key factor for agriculture and a real window of innovation.

 

How can water be saved in agriculture?

1. Choose a suitable irrigation system

We are facing more and more periods of drought. Therefore, it is important to save water by using a system that can supply water to the crop when environmental conditions cannot provide it. But it is not enough to solely provide it, it is also important to look for a system that economizes it. The most efficient systems are those that can distribute the water in very precise points directly on the soil, where the exposure of the water to the air or to the plant itself is avoided - due to the possibility of evaporation loss.

 

2. Water reuse

The use of treated waste water allows the reuse of water that would otherwise not be useful for consumption, contributing to the circular economy. This also avoids the extraction of surface and ground water bodies, which have suffered great deterioration in recent years.

 

3. Avoid food loss as much as possible

Currently, one third of production is lost before it reaches the consumer's table. According to the World Resources Institute, this represents 1.3 trillion tons, which translates to 45 trillion gallons of water, almost 24% of thewater used for agricultural purposes!  

Reducing food loss inthe supply chain can be helped by using technology that allows you to track logistics, communications and provides you with real-time data, which reduces the risk of making mistakes that result in food loss.

 

Saving water in agriculture is an issue from the grower to the supermarket. In order to have a stable supply chain that allows us to continue providing food to consumers, we need to take action soon.

 

Ready to make the switch? At Consentio we have a platform that allows you to be in control of your fresh food purchases and sales at all times, thus avoiding waste.

 

Start saving today!

 

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