How does agriculture affect groundwater


Agricultural contaminants can impair the quality of surface water and groundwater. Fertilizers and pesticides don’t remain stationary on the landscape where they are applied; runoff and infiltration transport these contaminants into local streams, rives, and groundwater.Mar 1, 2019

Does agriculture pollute groundwater?

A number of agricultural practices can contribute to groundwater pollution, if not properly managed. Contamination sources on a farm may include pesticides, fertilizers, animal waste, and underground storage tanks.

How does agriculture contribute to groundwater depletion?

How does agriculture contribute to groundwater depletion? Agriculture contributes to groundwater depletion by using irrigation. Water is being drained for irrigational uses.

How much ground water is used in agriculture?

Globally, area equipped for irrigation is currently about 301 million ha of which 38% are equipped for irrigation with groundwater. Total consumptive groundwater use for irrigation is estimated as 545 km3 yr−1, or 43% of the total consumptive irrigation water use of 1277 km3 yr−1.

What are the reasons for groundwater overuse?

1. Because of the vast and increasing population and the resultant higher demand for and unequal access to water. 2. Water supplies are being over-exploited to increase irrigated regions and dry season cultivation in order to promote increased demand for food grains for huge populations.

What are the environmental implications of Sri Lanka?

When soils of Sri Lanka are considered, future research needs are concentrated on environmental implications of inputs used in agriculture. It is suspected that the heavy metals and impurities introduced through fertilizers and agrochemicals are leading to many diseases as Chronic Kidney Disease of unknown etiology (CKDu). The available data is not sufficient to draw any conclusions due to lack of equipment, improper analytical methods, and insufficient number of replicates. Much research is also needed on pollution of water resources by nitrogen fertilizers and means and ways of replacing part of the requirement by biological methods.

What is salinization in coastal areas?

Salinization is an explicit global threat faced by coastal low lands. The increased seawater ingression into groundwater due to various climatic and anthropogenic factors affects functioning of ecosystems, biodiversity and the sustainability of coastal agriculture. This study was undertaken to investigate the changes in groundwater salinity in Jaffna Peninsula over a 20-year period and its relationship with paddy land abandonment. Permanently abandoned paddy areas were mapped using historical Landsat images, while groundwater salinity changes in 63 agricultural wells for the period 1999 to 2019 were analysed. The trend in salinity, including proximity to the coast, was examined. The results showed that approximately 8178 ha (43% of total paddy land) of paddy lands had been permanently abandoned while the groundwater salinity had increased by 1.6-fold over the last two decades. An increasing salinity trend with decreasing distance from the coast was observed. Presently, nearly 59% of the wells showed salinity levels that were unsuitable for crop irrigation. The results underline the need for urgent and effective management of groundwater resources in order to maintain the sustainability of the existing paddy lands and ensure availability of potable water for consumption along the coastal low land areas of Jaffna Peninsula.

How does agriculture affect the environment?

Pollution caused by agriculture can contaminate water, food, fodder, farms, the natural environment and the atmosphere. Pesticides and fertilizers used in agriculture can contaminate both groundwater and surface water, as can organic livestock wastes, antibiotics, silage effluents, and processing wastes from plantation crops.

What is water pollution?

Water quality in agriculture, in other words water pollution from and to agriculture, is a focus area for Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), under which different global and national projects and programs are identified.

What is the FAO’s mandate?

One of FAO’s mandates is to work closely with countries and other UN and non-UN organizations to monitor, control and mitigate pollution loads from agricultural activities, as well as the negative impacts of agricultural pollution on people’s health and the environment.

Is agriculture a marginal water user?

Agriculture as a user of marginal quality water (e.g. untreated wastewater): victim. With increasing demand for agricultural commodities, farmers are looking increasingly at non-conventional water sources of marginal quality , including wastewater. Domestic and municipal wastewater presents an attractive option because of its high nutrient content, …

Is agriculture a polluter?

Agriculture as a water po lluter: cause. Agriculture accounts for 70% of total water consumption worldwide and is the single-largest contributor of non-point-source pollution to surface water and groundwater.

Is wastewater a good source of water?

If adequately treated and safely applied, however, wastewater can be a valuable source of both water and nutrients and thereby contribute to food security and livelihood improvement. Organization: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)

How does agriculture affect water quality?

How Industrial Agriculture Affects Our Water. Industrial agriculture is one of the leading causes of water pollution in the United States. 1 According to the 2017 National Water Quality Inventory of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), 46 percent of the nation’s rivers and streams are in “poor biological condition,” and 21 percent …

What happens when fertilizer leaches into the groundwater?

The excess nutrients from fertilizer leech into surface and groundwater, causing algal blooms and nitrate contamination, impacting drinking water, recreational activities (such as swimming and boating), fishing/shell fishing and marine and aquatic ecology.

How many people rely on well water?

According to the EPA, 13 million households rely on private wells for drinking water. While public drinking water systems are regulated by the EPA, …

What percentage of freshwater is used in agriculture?

Agriculture accounts for 80 percent (in Western states, up to 90 percent) of all freshwater use in the US. 55 Most US farms in the Midwest use center-pivot irrigation: long overhead sprinklers that rotate around a central axis. Center-pivot irrigation and similar methods encourage use of large quantities of water, draining underground aquifers.

What is animal farming?

Industrial Animal Agriculture. Concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs), also known as factory farms, typically house thousands of animals, generating millions if not billions of gallons of animal waste per year .

Where is the Ogallala Aquifer?

The Ogallala Aquifer, which stretches from Wyoming and South Dakota to the Texas panhandle and supports nearly one-fifth of US wheat, corn and beef cattle, has already run dry in some places and is reduced by as much as 60 percent in others. 5657.

Will water availability decrease in 2060?

By 2060, the USDA predicts that water availability for agriculture in all areas of the US will be significantly reduced, primarily because of climate change, but also due to current water use patterns. 58 The study predicts long-term yield declines for seven out of ten major grain crops, as a result.

What is agriculture?

Explanation: Agriculture is an industry that uses a large amount of water. Globally, it is estimated that 60-75% of water humans used goes towards agriculture. Much is this water is used to irrigate crops. This water is often not used sustainably.

Is freshwater used for farming?

Thus, in general agricultural practices use a great deal of our freshwater and this use is often not sustainable given current practices and limited regulation globally.

Why is water protection a problem?

These different pathways cause a problem with water protection, because elimination of one water pollution source may aggravate another. For example, reduction of fertilization level or one of the elements may not reduce leaching of nutrients as a result of the unfavorable ratio of nutrients in soil.

Which element is less mobile and reaches surface water due to erosion with the bound soil particles?

Nitrogen, in particular the very soluble nitrate, is easily dissolved into the percolating water. Phosphorus is less mobile and reaches surface water due to erosion with the bound soil particles.

What causes leaching of nitrogen?

Severe shortage of phosphorus and potassium in applied fertilizers is one of the major factors causing leaching of nitrogen due to limited possibilities of its consumption by plants. Keywords: Fertilization, Land use, Nitrate Directive, Protected area. Introduction.


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