Wireless sensors and data systems can help farmers use water much more efficiently by monitoring soil conditions.
Lance Cheung/USDA via Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images
The Agricultural Internet of Things is making farming more efficient. An information technology expert describes some of the challenges of working with sensors and antennas underground.
Drought warning near Exeter, Devon, in 1976.
Paul Glendell / Alamy
Unlike this time, the dry summer of 1976 followed a particularly dry year.
Low-tech irrigation on a cattle ranch near Whitewater, Colo., June 30, 2021.
Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images
Stemming the water crisis in the western US will require cities and rural areas to work together to make water use on farms – the largest source of demand – more efficient.
Greywater is used all over the world for domestic and agricultural irrigation.
Researchers have long argued that greywater could bolster South Africa’s food security if it’s used to water domestic food gardens.
We need a radical rethink of water resource planning. Strategies should include reusing water and moving water physically to water-scarce areas.
The old village of Aceredo, submerged 30 years ago when a hydropower dam flooded the valley, emerged during a drought in northwestern Spain, in February 2022.
(AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)
Water is central to adapting to climate change, but very few of the strategies put in place to respond to water hazards or ensure its availability have been evaluated.
Environmental footprint calculators may promise to help consumers lead a greener life. But they may in fact encourage choices that don’t benefit – or even harm – the environment.
Groundwater is used for irrigation and drinking water, but those wells are rarely more than one kilometre deep. A huge volume of salty water exists as much as 10 kilometres below the Earth’s surface.
Groundwater is the second-largest store of water on Earth. Governments and industry use groundwater reservoirs to store waste, but it may also have environmental functions that haven’t been revealed.
important decisions must be made today for urban greening programs to succeed in a warmer world.
Nishant Tiku/University of Aberdeen
Constructed ice domes release water during dry periods when rain is blocked by high mountain ranges, stifling essential crop cultivation for rural communities.
Some of North America’s groundwater is so old, it fell as rain before humans arrived here thousands of years ago.
Maria Fuchs via Getty Images
As surface water diminishes in the Western US, people are drilling deeper wells – and tapping into older groundwater that can take thousands of years to replenish naturally.
African farmers need homegrown solutions to improve food security.
Barriers to independent national decision making in farming need to be challenged if agricultural sustainability is to be developed.
Workers sort coffee beans at a coffee estate in Ruiru, a suburb on the outskirts of Nairobi.
Photo by Long Lei/Xinhua via Getty Images
Kenya needs to address spending inefficiencies to attain the goals outlined in the budget.
Dry conditions across the West follow a hot, dry year of record-setting wildfires in 2020. Communities were left with scenes like this, from California’s Creek Fire.
Amir Aghakouchak/University of California Irvine
Drought conditions are so bad, fish hatcheries are trucking their salmon to the ocean and ranchers are worried about having enough water for their livestock.
An orchard near Kettleman City in California’s San Joaquin Valley on April 2, 2021.
Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images
The US has one of the highest groundwater use rates in the world. When wells run dry, households may opt to conserve water, find new sources or sell and move.
New research finds water markets in the southern Murray-Darling produce benefits of around $117 million per year.
First Nations people have almost no say in how water is used in Australia. The Productivity Commission’s latest report does little to address that.
A center-pivot sprinkler with precision application drop nozzles irrigates cotton in Texas.
An invisible crisis is brewing in US farm country as the overpumped Ogallala-High Plains Aquifer drains. The key drivers are federal farm subsidies and the tax code.
Murray Darling Junction, Wentworth NSW.
Marking farms more water-efficient pushes up prices twice as much as buying water back.
Knee-jerk responses to water insecurity won’t fix the basin. The harder and longer path is delivering real water reform, including transparent water planning enshrined in law.