Thursday, May 14, 2009

Harvesting Rainwater would make Increasing Crop Production Possible

Many questions loom about water availability in the future. Will there be enough for crop production, especially with the increasing world population? Will climate change make water even more scarce? Past predictions suggest that there will be a water shortage, but recent research published in the Water Resources Research journal suggests that there may be a way to prepare and adapt.

A team of Swedish and German scientists decided to consider future water availability using both “blue” and “green” water. Blue water is what is usually considered when trying to determine if there will be enough water; it includes river discharge and groundwater. What makes this study unique is that it also looks at “green” water, which is water that is present due to rainfall. The results of this research show that well-managed rainfall will provide enough water for many countries to grow food to sustain their populations, despite population increases and climate change.

“Much of the past debate regarding various water-scarce regions focused on the absence of water rather than the opportunities linked to the presence of water,” says lead author Johan Rockström from the Stockholm Environment Institute and the Stockholm Resilience Centre.

The research team plans to cooperate in future studies to explore specific green water management methods to expand future food production opportunities. More information about the current article is available from ScienceDaily.

1 comment:

Physicus said...

The potential to increase the capture and storage of water in the soil is tremendous. Most present tillage and irrigation systems waste a large amount of water. Managing to improve soil quality will increase soil aggregate stability which will increase water infiltration into the soil. Managing to improve soil quality will also increase organic matter, which is literally a sponge for holding water in the soil. Managing to improve soil quality is not difficult; one only needs to: reduce soil disturbance, increase crop diversity, keep living roots in the soil as much as possible and keep the soil covered with plant residues. This creates favorable habitat for soil biology, and they will take it from there...