Why is water important for Agriculture? The agricultural sector consumes 85% of freshwater worldwide and the growing population has steadily increased the demand for this resource. The recent overuse of freshwater resources due to human use has led to scarcity. This has resulted in potential limitations for urban supply, food production, and ecosystem function.
Population growth is one of the primary reasons for water shortage. The quality of water due to degradation has also contributed to the global water crisis as humans and biodiversity depend on water for survival. Climate change is another factor that impacts the levels of water, negatively impacting sectors like agriculture. Climate change can cause droughts, so crops may lack proper nutrients due to drought or heavy rainfall, which can lead to plants becoming overwhelmed by too much water. Extreme weather events like floods and droughts negatively impact food production systems. Building societal resilience against increased risks is essential for sound water management.
Agriculture uses green water for crop growth. It is caused by an aquatic plant called algae that contains chlorophyll which is responsible for its green appearance. It has high nutrient content and is a good source of nutrients for plants. For agriculture, green water is integral to crop growth, but with weather patterns such as rainfall shifts and changing temperatures, the level of green water available for crops will change.
Improving agriculture’s water management is essential for productive agri-food and sustainable sectors. Agriculture is highly reliant on water and is increasingly subject to water risks.
Mitigating the effects of climate change has been a priority for all countries. Agriculture has been identified as the sector for intervention due to its importance globally. Caribbean countries have already started the process to create preventative measures that would protect their agriculture, protect their food security and enable them to be sustainable and preserve natural resources.
Read more from our sources below!
ScienceDirect – The Emerging Global Water Crisis: Managing Scarcity and Conflict Between Water Users
Modern Farmer – Agriculture’s Water Challenge Is About to Get a Lot Worse
OECD – Managing water sustainably is key to the future of food and agriculture
FAO – Water
FAO – World Water Week 2022
CARICOM – Caribbean Countries Commit to Building Agricultural Resilience to Climate Change Challenges