FLOOD IRRIGATION VS. MODERN IRRIGATION METHODS
Did you know that about 90% of the world’s irrigated areas still use surface irrigation?
Flood irrigation is the oldest form of irrigation and has been used by farmers since ancient times. The efficiency of surface irrigation is estimated at about 40% while other modern irrigation methods can reach up to 80% efficiency and even more. That means that we can almost double the water available for agriculture by abandoning this old and inefficient irrigation technique and move to more water-saving, modern methods. This would require the involvement of officials and international organizations in collaboration with companies that develop water management technologies in order to make these technologies accessible all the way to the small farmer.
Most of the world’s agricultural land is in the hands of farmers with small farms that may not be able to acquire these water-saving technologies without help, in the form of funding or guidance. Helping those small farmers move to more water-saving irrigation technology will not only improve their livelihood by increasing crop yield and quality but may also turn the tide in our global water crisis by releasing huge amounts of water from agriculture without lowering its productivity or profitability.
And frankly, can we really allow ourselves not to do that? For how long?