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Water Efficiency and Sustainability
Water is Life
. 9 Apr 2008. Spring 2004.
This website was created as a University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire class project. It addresses water privatization and commodification, including subtopics such as economic policies, industrial use, groundwater, shortages, and bottled water. The content is well-researched but relatively simplistic and easy to understand, as it was posted by students. It is not intended for professionals or governments, but is a helpful resource for background information.
“Reconciling the water needs of agriculture and ecosystems.”
Food and Agriculture Organization
Of the United Nations Newsroom
. January 26, 2005. 30 March 2008.
The article states that agriculture, ecosystems, and forestry are the biggest consumers of fresh water.
With a growing population, more fresh water is being designated for agriculture over ecosystems.
Developments are being made and methods are being worked on to increase ecosystems’ supply of fresh water.
This article mentions a further problem with inefficient irrigation. Not only is inefficient irrigation detrimental to humans, it is detrimental to the land.
This article is important to read and analyze because it discusses the threats to the ecosystem and how that can have negative consequences elsewhere in society.
It is good to know that officials and activist groups are recognizing the concerns of poor irrigation and making efforts to change and improve the current state.
Water Efficiency and Sustainability
“Agricultural Water Use Efficiency in the United States.”
U.S./China Water Resources Management Conference.
Natural Resources Conservation Service, USDA.
29 Mar 2008. May 25, 1999.
Ronald L. Marlow, a National Water Management Engineer, presented this report at a conference between the United States and China involving Water Resources Management in1999. This is clearly geared towards domestic and international government experts interested in policymaking for the conservation of water resources, as well as scientific communities.
Though slightly outdated, his report provides an early look at the foray into the global water shortage, and is helpful in seeing developments that have occurred in the last decade. Marlow concludes that the subject of water efficiency is complex and often misunderstood. He identifies major factors in US irrigated and non-irrigated agricultural sectors, and how they play into water use efficiency.
"Using Water Sustainability in Agriculture."
India Water Portal.
12 Apr 2008. 2007.
The India Water Portal is a web-based platform that aims to share water knowledge amongst professionals, the government, and the general public in India. It gears its information towards specific groups of stakeholders in order to provide the most pertinent data to each target group. It offers case studies and expertise for NGOs, puzzles and quizzes for kids and regular citizen activists, and specific data for researchers. This is an excellent resource on a variety of topics, and a very readable and easily navigable website.
From the Agriculture page under Tools and Techniques, a link was provided under case studies to this paper on using water sustainability in agriculture. The paper is not as well-presented as the rest of the site, but would still be useful to average citizens interested in more information, but who do not have any particular expertise.
“Africa: Investments in Agricultural Water Critical to Achieve the MDGs.”
28 March 2008. 6 April 2008.
A consortium of NGOs recently called for increased investments in Africa in order to meet the Millennium Development Goals. During the meeting, the groups outlined an initiative to promote knowledge sharing, dissemination and capacity strengthening. They also recognized that water is a key issue that needs to be tackled. They are calling for both public and private investments to be made in order to drastically increase the amount of sustainable resources being managed in Africa.
This article is excellent in outlining the main players, most of which are NGOs, in the race to meet MDGs in Africa. It recognizes that there is a certain urgency to the need for continued investment from all avenues into water management and education in Africa. The World Bank, though facing its own recent problems, is doing a good job of raising awareness and trying to mobilize other groups to attempt to solve water related problems in all of Africa.
Ayres, Wendy, and Alex McCalla. “Rural Development, Agriculture, and Food Security.”
Finance and Development: A Quarterly Magazine of the IMF
. 33.4 (Dec. 1996). 16 April 2008.
This article focuses on providing enough food in rural areas in developing countries. In general, it argues that improving economies will raise incomes, which will allow people to buy food they need. With regard to water, it notes that nutrition can be improved by direct action, such as putting vitamins in water supplies. Water should be priced and markets developed and planning should be increased. The article also notes that projects tend to be more effective when developed and funded locally. This last point is important because it can provide powerful incentives for efficient water management. It also indicates that strong knowledge of local situations is very important.
“Improving agricultural water use is essential to fight hunger and poverty.”
Food and Agriculture
Organization of the United Nations Newsroom
March 21, 2003. 30 March 2008.
In order to meet the world’s demand for food, we need to improve our irrigation methods, according to FAO Director Dr. Jacques Diof.
An FAO conference called for the following acts to be taken to improve irrigation methods: modernization of irrigation schemes, an increase in agricultural productivity with less use of water, continued research and development on irrigation, and improved government regulation of agricultural water uses.
Dr. Diof also mentioned that increased small-scale irrigation systems will aid against hunger as well, especially in developing nations.
This is an important article for the specific theme of our project, because it states how modernizing the current irrigation methods will help solve the problems of irrigation.
There are numerous primitive irrigation systems in place that people rely on for food and sustainability.
These primitive methods, however, are detrimental to the land and to their health.
Modernizing irrigation can do a world of good for both the people and the land, but just how do we do that?
“Africa Food Crisis”. Islamic Relief USA. 4/10/08.
The Islamic Relief Foundation is currently working on a campaign to relieve Africa of its present food crisis. The article gives shocking statistics about the need for food in Africa, such as more than 30 million people are going hungry across the African continent. The main countries in need are Kenya, Malawi, and Ethiopia, and are each addressed separately in the article. It gives key statictics for each country, underlying reasons, the impact of the food crisis is having, and what needs to be done. The article gives solutions such as: making provisions for clean drinking water to fixed distribution centers,
quality care and nutritious food, access to malnourished children and families to feeding programs, and increased nutrition awareness in the countries.
Although the article provides a great deal of information regarding the immediate need for help in African countries, it fails to give a detailed description of how it can be solved. It is a good article to read for background on the food crisis and the severity of the issue.
McLaughlin, Abraham. “A Home Grown Solution to African Hunger”. 2/1/06.
The Christian Science Monitor
The article describes a Malawian farmer, who grew up with no formal agricultural training, but has managed to build his own irrigation system. This irrigation system has created a health crop on his 50-acre plot using just hoes and shovels. The article goes on to say that just 2% of farmers in Malawi use irrigation, which is greatly affecting the country’s lack of food. The Malawian farmer continues to describe his irrigation methods and how no chemicals are used on his farm. Due to climate change it has made irrigation crucial for farms in Africa, and with this change, Africa will see greater crop production. The conclusion to the article is that Africa needs greater independence from western donors.
The article provides an interested story of a farmer in Africa who took his farming problems into his own hands and made a difference to his community. It provides good hope for food and water usage in Africa, if farmers are able to replicate this man’s achievements.
19 Apr 2008.
17 April 2008.
Since 2007, this blog has been a space for the general public, especially activists, to post opinions, information, and news. The goal is to analyze, critique, and share experiences pertaining to Afrtican agriculture.
It also seeks to motivate activism and debate difficult issues.
There are posts on specific regions, crops, techniques, organizations, and problems.
The most pertinent to this wiki include irrigation, water management, and aquaculture. By virtue of the fact that a blog is a space to express opinions, many of the articles are biased.
However, it is still a good resource to use to find differing viewpoints on pertinent subjects in agriculture in Africa.
Dams and Agriculture in Africa
. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. A
QUASTAT Programme, 2007. 19 Apr. 2008
This report sent out by the AQUASTAT Programme of the FAO outlines the number of dams and irrigation systems in place in all of Africa.
It also states the number of large-scale irrigation schemes and their locations on the continent.
It also states the future prospects of the current irrigation schemes and how there is potential for increasing irrigation schemes in Africa.
It states how the irrigation systems will have to be restructured and people will have to increase the use of the renewable water resources.
This is to improve the irrigation system and ensure that crop production will continue in the far future.
This was a good source because it outlines all the specifics about the current irrigation systems in Africa.
This is important to know for our specific topic because we want to aim to improve the irrigation systems in Africa, so knowing the current status and numbers will help in our proposed solution.
Krupnik, Timothy. “West African rice farmers explore alternatives to cheap, dangerous insecticides”.
The New Farm
The article examines irrigation and famine in Africa and the trend toward rice as a staple crop in most regions. It walks the reader through a day in the life of a farmer and how bugs are dealt with. The irrigation systems put in place to help benefit food security and increase production of rice have led to environmental and human health costs. When chemicals are used, such as insecticides, they build up and eventually contaminate the water and fish. The problems that come from these pollutants have become severe in Africa and a new approach is needed.
The author provides good insight into the issues African farmers face on a day to day basis. The conclusion it reaches gives good reason for why insecticides should not be used and don’t have much effect on the production of food in the long-run.
Watering Onion Crops in Ghana
. 19 April 2008
This is a video on YouTube which shows a worker watering onion crops in Ghana.
During the dry season in Ghana, farmers must pump water from the White Volta River which is then drained through the crop fields.
Workers use bowls and gourds to finish the process by scooping the water out of the drains and onto the plants.
After I viewed the video, I realized how primitive the irrigation methods are in certain rural parts of Africa.
This is a very simple and ineffective method to water large fields of crops.
It showed just how much areas in Africa need improved irrigation.
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