how is water used in agriculture


7 Agricultural Uses of Water in Farms

  1. Produce at the Supermarket. Put simply, one of the most common agricultural uses of water is to produce crops, fruits, and vegetable.
  2. Stopping Pesticides from Seeping into Groundwater. Ensuring pesticides do not infiltrate groundwater is an imperative task for the agriculture sector. …
  3. Fertilizer Spread. …
  4. Crop Cooling. …
  5. Frost Control. …

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The use of agricultural water makes it possible to grow fruits and vegetables and raise livestock, which is a main part of our diet. Agricultural water is used for irrigation, pesticide and fertilizer applications , crop cooling (for example, light irrigation), and frost control.


How does farming pollute water?

 · Agricultural water is used for irrigation, pesticide External and fertilizer applications External, crop cooling (for example, light irrigation), and frost control. According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), water used for irrigation accounts for nearly 65 percent of the world’s freshwater withdrawals excluding thermoelectric power .

How much freshwater is used for agriculture?

 · Water in Agriculture. Water is a critical input for agricultural production and plays an important role in food security. Irrigated agriculture represents 20 percent of the total cultivated land and contributes 40 percent of the total food produced worldwide. Irrigated agriculture is, on average, at least twice as productive per unit of land as rainfed agriculture, …

What is the importance of water in agriculture?

 · There are two main ways that farmers and ranchers use agricultural water to cultivate crops: Rain-fed farming; Irrigation; Rain-fed farming is the natural application of water to the soil through direct rainfall. Relying on rainfall is less likely to result in contamination of food products but is open to water shortages when rainfall is reduced.

How much water does agriculture use?

Agriculture and Water. In agriculture, water is used for various purposes, including irrigation, frost control, and fertilizer and pesticide applications. To learn more about protecting water quality by optimizing the timing of fertilizer and manure application, have a look at the Fertilizer Forecaster webinar. Agricultural water comes from three main sources – surface water, well water, and …


What Is Agricultural Water?

Agricultural water is water that is used to grow fresh produce and sustain livestock. The use of agricultural water makes it possible to grow fruit…

Why Should I Be Concerned About The Agricultural Water Quality in My area?

Water quality can be affected by poor planning of industrial sites, animal farms, and barnyards and feedlots. Until recently, the type of water sou…

Where Does Agricultural Water Come from?

Agricultural water comes from a variety of sources. Typical sources of agricultural water include: 1. Surface water 1. Rivers, streams, and irrigat…



Latest Reports

Indicators and Data

  • Supporting the report Environmental Performance of Agriculture in OECD Countries Since 1990, this database features statistics on the impact of agriculture on the quality and use of water in OECD member countries. » Access the OECD.stat database on water-use and quality in OECD countries

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  1. Facilitating policy change towards sustainable water use in agriculture, Word-Bank OECD workshop, Washington DC, May 29-30 2018
  2. Pathways to policy change on water in agriculture, OECD-European Commission workshop, Brussels, February 20-21 2018
  3. On 20 January 2017, the OECD in collaboration with the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) organised an expert panel entitled “Agriculture and groundwater- feeding billions from th…
  4. On 9 November 2016, the OECD, in partnership with the Ministry of Economic Affairs of the Netherlands, organised a workshop on Managing water risks for agriculture: a discussion with the private se…

Other Publications

  • Sustainable agriculture Agriculture is the major user of water in most countries. It also faces the enormous challenge of producing almost 50% more food by 2030 and doubling production by 2050. This book shows the trends and outlook for water use in agriculture, examines the policy experiences of OECD countries in managing their resources – and rec…

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Related OECD Work & Contact

  • More related OECD data, analysis and publications: 1. Trade & Agriculture Directorate 2. Environment Directorate 3. Water For questions on OECD work on water use in agriculture, contact the Trade & Agriculture Directorate.

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