What are the uses of water 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,…
  2. Stopping Pesticides from Seeping into Groundwater. Ensuring pesticides do not infiltrate groundwater is an imperative…
  3. Fertilizer Spread. Agriculture water is also used to spread fertilizer. This is a very…

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 can water be used wisely in agriculture?

  • Rivers, streams, and irrigation ditches
  • Open canals
  • Impounded water such as ponds, reservoirs, and lakes

Is the biggest use of water for agriculture?

Total water use in Nebraska breaks down to approximately 81 percent groundwater irrigation, 13 percent surface water irrigation, 4 percent domestic water uses. The remaining 2 percent comprises other uses such as livestock, industrial, and mining.

Does agriculture use large amounts of water for irrigation?

Agriculture is a major user of ground and surface water in the United States, and irrigation has enhanced both the productivity and profitability of the agricultural sector. According to the 2017 Census of Agriculture, farms with some form of irrigation accounted for more than 54 percent of the total value of U.S. crop sales, while irrigated land accounted for less than 20 percent of harvested …

How does water affect agriculture?

  • The interconnected systems of land, soil and water are stretched to the limit. Convergence of evidence points to agricultural systems breaking down, with impacts felt across the global food system.
  • Current patterns of agricultural intensification are not proving sustainable. …
  • Farming systems are becoming polarized. …

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…

What is agricultural water used for?

Agricultural water is used preharvest for the purpose of crop irrigation, frost protection, cooling. At the same, farmers will be using fertilizers and pesticides. Agricultural water postharvest is also used for washing and transporting the crop that has been produced.

What are the uses of water?

Produce at the Supermarket. Put simply, one of the most common agricultural uses of water is to produce crops, fruits, and vegetable. Almost every type of food plant needs water, and without agriculture water, there would be a marked reduction in food production. In areas where there is no rain or where there is an excessive water shortage, …

What are the sources of water for agriculture?

There are three sources for agriculture water: 1 Groundwater from underground wells. 2 Surface water that is derived from open canals, streams, irrigation ditches, and diverted from reservoirs. 3 Rainwater which is usually collected in barrels, tubs, and large cisterns.

How does heat affect crops?

A new strategy used in agriculture is to cool down crops. Studies show that the use of sprinklers to cool the crops can lead to increased yield and better quality of crops.

How to ensure that agriculture water is not wasted during irrigation of crops?

To ensure that agriculture water is not wasted during irrigation of crops, there are management strategies in place that include scheduling irrigation at specific times and establishing crop-specific irrigation protocols.

What crops are susceptible to heat damage?

Crops that are very susceptible to heat damage include peas, beans, tomatoes, potatoes, most berries, and tree fruits.

Why is fertilizer spread in agriculture?

This is a very logical use of agricultural water as it can provide nutrition to the soil and enhance the production of better crops. However, the use of fertilizer with agriculture water requires significant knowledge and care.

What is the role of 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, …

How does the World Bank help agriculture?

The World Bank supports countries with sustainable intensification of agriculture through critical investments in irrigation infrastructure and key institutional reforms, which also help achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on efficient use of water as well as on eliminating hunger. Water is a critical input for agricultural production …

How much of the world’s freshwater withdrawals are agriculture?

Currently, agriculture accounts (on average) for 70 percent of all freshwater withdrawals globally (and an even higher share of “consumptive water use” due to the evapotranspiration of crops). The movement of water will need to be both physical and virtual. Physical movement of water can occur through changes in initial allocations …

How does water move?

Physical movement of water can occur through changes in initial allocations of surface and groundwater resources mainly from the agricultural to urban, environmental, and industrial users. Water can also move virtually as the production of water intensive food, goods, and services is concentrated in water abundant localities …

How much water is needed for future demand?

However, future demand on water by all sectors will require as much as 25 to 40% of water to be re-allocated from lower to higher productivity and employment activities, particularly in water stressed regions. In most cases, such reallocation is expected to come from agriculture due to its high share of water use.

How much will agriculture grow in 2050?

Combined with the increased consumption of calories and more complex foods, which accompanies income growth in the developing world, it is estimated that agricultural production will need to expand by approximately 70% by 2050.

What are farmers responding to?

Farmers and their organizations are also often responding to highly distorted incentive frameworks in terms of water pricing and agricultural support policies , which further hinder positive developments in the sector.

Why is it important to protect agricultural water?

As a result, it is critical that farmers protect their agricultural water source to minimize the potential for contamination. As with any groundwater removal, users of irrigation water need to be careful in not pumping groundwater out of an aquifer faster than it is being recharged. Top of Page.

What is the artificial application of water to the soil?

On the other hand, artificial applications of water increase the risk of contamination. Irrigation is the artificial application of water to the soil through various systems of tubes, pumps, and sprays. Irrigation is usually used in areas where rainfall is irregular or dry times or drought is expected. There are many types of irrigation systems, in …

How is water distributed in irrigation?

Water is distributed by overhead high-pressure sprinklers or guns from a central location in the field or from sprinklers on moving platforms. Water is distributed by a system of sprinklers that move on wheeled towers in a circular pattern.

What is the difference between irrigation and rainfed farming?

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 …

How is water distributed?

This system is common in flat areas of the United States. Water is distributed through a series of pipes, each with a wheel and a set of sprinklers, which are rotated either by hand or with a purpose-built mechanism.

Which type of irrigation system is most effective in areas with high water tables?

This system tends to be less expensive but requires more labor than others. Sub-irrigation. Water is distributed across land by raising the water table, through a system of pumping stations, canals, gates, and ditches. This type of irrigation is most effective in areas with high water tables. Manual irrigation.

What are the different types of irrigation systems?

Some common types of irrigation systems include: Surface irrigation. Water is distributed over and across land by gravity, no mechanical pump involved. Localized irrigation.

Why is water important for agriculture?

While water quantity is key to guarantee long-term sustainability and further determines which crops and which irrigation systems are most suitable given environmental (climate, soils, and landscape) and agricultural context, water quality has a significant influence on crop suitability.

How can agriculture save water?

Using agriculture water efficiently cannot only save water but also energy resources while improving yields. For this, understanding the local water resources is fundamental. For example, the type of water source determines the extraction method, which varies along surface water, groundwater or non-conventional water. The latter only provides one percent of agriculture water worldwide and includes treated wastewater and desalinated water, which is especially used in the Mediterranean, Middle East, and Andes regions, or on islands, and involves the use of specific technologies, which can also be run on renewable energy.

What will happen to agriculture in 2050?

By 2050 agriculture will remain an important determinant of economic growth, poverty reduction, and food security, despite the proportional decline of agricultural revenues in national gross income. Water use in agriculture will remain substantial, irrigated areas will expand and competition for water will increase in all sectors. Despite overall supplies of land and water will most likely be enough to achieve global food production goals in 2050, poverty and food insecurity will remain pressing challenges in several regions. While water will be sufficient to satisfy global food demand, an increasing number of regions will have to cope with growing water scarcity due to increasing competition. The outlook for 2050 provided by this paper reveals the demand for innovative and effective governance mechanisms to mitigate the impacts of growing water shortages. Investments in water technologies and infrastructure will be required for efficient water use, protecting food security and natural resources. Read more…

Why is mapping important for irrigation?

mapping the optimal placement of irrigation piping, which helps fulfilling the soil and crop water requirements; preservation and integration of large trees within the crop area , which not only provide shade and thus slow down evaporation processes, but also enhance water availability in the crop rooting zone;

What is irrigation scheduling?

irrigation scheduling, based on soil-plant or atmosphere measurements improves yields and decreases water use; mulching, as an effective technique to reduce evaporation of soil moisture and protects the soil against extreme temperatures and compaction, acting additionally as a soil conditioner;

What is freshwater used for?

Further along the value chain, water is used for food preservation ( crop cooling, for example) and processing.

What is the assessment of water management in agriculture?

The Comprehensive Assessment of Water Management in agriculture is a critical evaluation of the benefits, costs, and impacts of the past 50 years of water development, the water management challenges communities face today, and the solutions people have developed around the world. This assessment describes key water-food-environment trends that influence our lives today and uses scenarios to explore the consequences of a range of potential investments. It aims to inform investors and policymakers about water and food choices considering such crucial influences as poverty, ecosystems, governance, and productivity. It covers rainfed agriculture, irrigation, groundwater, marginal-quality water, fisheries, livestock, rice, land, and river basins. Read more…

How does agriculture use water?

There are four main areas of water use in agriculture: growing of crops, supplying drinking water to livestock, cleaning farm buildings and animals, and supplying drinking water for those who work on the farm. The amount of each category varies according to the type of farm. For example, farms in the eastern part of North America usually receive enough rainfall and water from melting snow to meet most of the water needs. But drier areas, such as the U.S. and Canadian prairies, regions of Mexico, and some mountainous regions of the West do not receive sufficient natural moisture. On these farms, water must be supplied through irrigation.

How much freshwater is used for irrigation?

Nearly 60% of the world’s freshwater that is used by humans is used for irrigation. Of this water that is applied to crop fields, only about half returns to surface water or groundwater sources. The rest is lost by natural processes such as evaporation (when liquid water changes to water vapor) and transpiration (when water from plant leaves is transformed into water vapor), and accidental occurrences such as leakage from pipes or spillage.

Where Does Agricultural Water Come From?

Some of the water that farms use for irrigation comes from rivers and streams, either through surface or borehole extraction. This is largely because peak demands for agricultural irrigation exceed what the public mains supply can provide.

The Importance of Good Water Quality

Effective and safe uses of water in agriculture result in good crop yields and livestock production. But poor quality of water can have a significant negative impact on crop growing, animal welfare and health, and, ultimately, economic performance.

Water for Livestock

Animals need water for their healthy development and growth. Basically, the quality of end products, such as meat and milk, depends on the quality of animal feed, including water.

Water for Plants and Crops

Water quality is as essential for plants and crops as it is for livestock.

How Should You Treat Agricultural Water?

It is important to disinfect the water used in agriculture. This will help to protect the quality of plants and crops, and protect livestock from disease and illness.

What Disinfectant Can You Apply to Agricultural Water?

You want the disinfectant you use to be as effective as possible, but also to be safe for use with livestock.

Some Issues on the Uses of Water

Ironically, according to Bruinsma (2003), there appeared to occur a change in diet preference towards meat and animal-based products. The amount of meat consumption in developing countries increased by about 124% from 11.4 kg during the mid-1970s to 25.5 kg per capita in 1997/99 (mean of 3 years is considered).

Uses of Water Amid Human Population Surge

Increasing the area of irrigated lands is a logical strategy to increase food production through agriculture in view of the projected increase in the human population ( about 2.4 billion more from 2010 to 2050 ). As already stated, statistics show that irrigation increases farm yields annually and per unit area of land.

What is the use of water in agriculture?

A large percentage of water is used in agriculture annually. Agriculture requires large quantities of water to grow fresh produce and sustain livestock. It is used for irrigation, pesticide and fertilizer application, frost control and crop cooling.

Where does agricultural water come from?

Agricultural water comes from surface water (rivers, streams, open canals, ponds, reservoirs and lakes), groundwater from wells and rainwater. Water is used in all traditional agriculture methods including the cultivation of rice, wheat, sugarcane, etc.

Why is water important?

It is important as a solvent that helps dissolve all the solutes of the body and facilitates several metabolic processes within the human body. There are several uses of water in daily life. It helps to flush out the toxins from our body.

What is the water cycle?

The water cycle is a phenomenon where the water vapor created from oceans, lakes, and rivers condenses and returns to the earth through precipitation. The cycle includes evaporation, precipitation, and runoff as the transfer processes. Ponds, lakes, rivers, streams, and seas are some of the sources of water which depend on rains and water cycle.

Why is water important in power plants?

Power plants need a significant amount of water for cooling. Water is a universal solvent and hence is used to dissolve several compounds in industrial production.

Why do we need water?

Human beings need water for hydration as we regularly lose water during breathing, sweating and digestion. The amount of water that is needed depends on the climate, kind of physical activity and health status of the individual. Other living beings are equally dependent on water for their survival.

Why is waterborne disease important?

Contamination of water with pathogens is an important concern in the healthcare setting as the immune system is weakened in some patients. Waterborne disease can spread through direct contact, ingestion, in-direct contact, and inhalation, aspiration of water and blood contact.

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