Thursday, October 7, 2010

How to Solve Crisis: Use Less Water

I just came across a brief interview with the Director General of the International Water Management Institute, Dr. Colin Chartres.  The IWMI is one of 15 international research centers supported by something called the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research, whose official Vision is: "To reduce poverty and hunger, improve human health and nutrition, and enhance ecosystem resilience through high-quality international agricultural research, partnershp and leadership."  (Seems like the CGIAR ought to have some good reasons to advocate vertical farming.)  Anyway, the part I wanted to share with you was what Dr. Colin Chartres had to say when Nature asked about the worldwide water crisis:
What is causing the crisis?
Agriculture is the biggest user of fresh water, making up 70–90% of the annual water demand for many countries. This will have to change, because global food production is going to have to double over the next 40 years to meet the needs of a growing population. Farmers will have to increase production without using any more water than they do today.
(image from Eco Localizer)
Well all right.  Can anyone think of a proven method of growing more food with less water?  I can.  It's going to be so important to increase the hydroponics education in order for vertical farming to have its best chance at success.  Groups like the Institue of Simplified Hydroponics and Boswyck Farms here in New York are empowering people with this knowledge, and I commend their efforts.  Still, if someone offered lessons to bodies like the IWMI and the CGIAR, I think we might see a broader shift in attitude around hydroponics--and attitudes can go a long way.


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  2. Great post,great information share about Agriculture and fresh water demand....