Monday, November 18, 2013

Irrigating to Conserve the World's Water | by Brooke Stover

We all know that the world’s water resources are being depleted. While 70 percent of the world’s surface is covered in water, only .05 percent of it is accessible freshwater that we can use (much of the remaining fresh water is frozen in icecaps or is inaccessible groundwater). Of that .05 percent of freshwater, 70 percent is used for agricultural withdrawals. (This information is illustrated in the image below.)

This means that 70 percent of the water is currently being used to feed our ever-increasing population. The global population increases by 8,000 people every hour. Without irrigation, growers would be unable to produce higher yields on fewer acres, so it is important that we invest in ways to feed the growing population without completely depleting the world’s water resources.

How can we do this? We can invest in more efficient means of irrigation practices. Yields can be increased while using less water, the water just needs to be applied more effectively. Center pivot irrigation can reach efficiencies of 98 percent, while traditional flood irrigation is only about 40-50 percent efficient.

To see how center pivot irrigation matches up to less efficient methods of irrigation, visit this Website.

At Valley®, our goals are to improve irrigation practices throughout the world and to help feed the growing population while developing new and improved technologies that apply water more efficiently.

Brooke Stover
Global Marketing Coordinator

Brooke has been with the Valley Irrigation Global Marketing department since 2011. She spends her free time taking pottery classes; though she thoroughly enjoys this, most of her stuff is a bit lopsided. Brooke also loves to read and listen to Frank Sinatra. She enjoys traveling and has been to 11 countries with the goal to make it to six more in the next six years!