Reduce Water Consumption in Agriculture

With decreasing levels of freshwater, farmers must make efforts to reduce water consumption. Agriculture uses up 70% of freshwater, which is a global phenomenon. Fresh water is a resource which is decreasing, the same as other natural resources and steps have to be taken to conserve water. Water used for food production and irrigation constitutes a major threat to the sustainability of global water resources. It’s up to farmers to use methods which use less water, but which would not affect the quantity of food being produced. Read on to find out how to reduce water consumption in agriculture:

Using low-energy sprays


The Geological Survey of the US suggest that farmers can use LEPA or a precision application low spray which is centrally pivoted, to water plants gently, but with the spray being very close to ground. This system of watering plants can increase the efficiency of irrigation from 60% up to 90%.

Irrigation scheduling

Farmers can schedule irrigation based on atmospheric conditions or soil-based measurements which would reduce use of water, even as crop yields are improved. There are many programs and softwares which can collect weather related data, including rainfall, local temperature, crop evapotransportation and humidity levels, and can recommend optimal scheduling of irrigation. The University of Minnesota can provide a thorough guide about irrigation scheduling using checkbook method.

Controlling phreatophytes

Controlling the production of phreatophytes, which are plants such as tamarisk, willows, Russian olive and cottonwood, can help to conserve water, as these plants consume high amounts of water, reducing the amount of water available to a crop. These plants can be removed or reduced by a variety of methods, including mechanical or chemical.

Drip irrigation

Drip irrigation

The method of…