According to NFU Scotland, around 80% of Scotland’s land mass is involved with agricultural production. The farming industry is not just responsible for producing food but also for conserving the natural resources necessary for production, including water. As a Scottish water services business, here is our advice on how to save water in the agricultural industry.
One of the best ways to save water in the farming industry is to use drip irrigation systems instead of overhead sprinklers. Drip irrigation gives water directly to the roots of plants through a series of tubes and emitters. This method means less water is lost due to evaporation and runoff, as well as helps to reduce water use by more than 70%. Netafim excels in providing great irrigation solutions in the UK, and around the globe.
Selecting crops that rely on natural rainfall instead of extra irrigation can help reduce irrigation needs and save water. Charity REAP has a great an in-depth list of plants and crops that are bred, native, or naturalised in Scotland.
Healthy soil can help save water in farming, as it can store and hold water. In Scotland, we strongly protect our soil, and the Scottish Soil Framework is available to help guide key stakeholders. If Farmers can keep good soil health, this greatly reduces water runoff and soil erosion. Thus ensuring that water is saved when possible by using methods such as conservation tillage, cover cropping, and crop rotation.
Water Reuse and Recycling
Water reuse and recycling are important practices in the farming industry. Reusing water extends the supply of water resources and reduces the demand for fresh water. By re-using and treating water, farmers can use the same water, reducing the amount of water needed and saving money over time. You can find out more information on the Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations website.
Collecting rainwater and other sources of run-off water is another good way to save water in farming activities. Using these collected water sources for irrigation will greatly reduce the use of fresh water from pipelines.
By putting in place water-saving practices, farmers can sustainable practice and have good yields while using less water. Therefore, with the right mix of tools and practices, we can save water in the agricultural industry.