Agriculture Corner

Conservation of Water in Agriculture


Globally, the resources of water are depleting and the rate of recharge of these resources is slow enough that situation of water shortage has been raised in many parts of the globe. According to United Nations, 40 percent of population on earth is facing water shortage and is projected to rise. Similarly, 783 million have no access to safe drinking water. The chief causes of loss of water and its resources are inefficient water use, wastage and poor management of water resources. This situation has clubbed the policy makers round the globe on a common ground to find sustainable solutions for conservation of water.

Before heading forward, the next step is to identify what are the chief water consuming sectors globally? Globally large chunk of freshwater resources are utilized by food and agriculture sector. More precisely, production of food commodities are the chief consumers of water whether it is agricultural crops of livestock animals.  According to Food and Water Organization of United Nations (FAO), agriculture sector consumes 70 percent of available water while industrial usage ranks second (20 percent) followed by domestic consumption (10 percent). Moreover, largest wastage of water occurs in agriculture sector. The developing nations are main culprits due to poor management of water and lack of technology to use and conserve resources of water.

What is Water Conservation?

So first, let’s discuss what is water conservation? The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) defines conservation of water as:

Water conservation refers to the preservation, control and development of water resources, both surface and groundwater, and prevention of pollution.

Conservation of water in agriculture refers to efficient use of water in irrigation operations and managed and controlled supply of water to allied sectors of agriculture to conserve resources of water. Through conservation of water, the objective is to ensure that the demand of water should not exceed the reclamation of resources of water, so that an optimal balance is maintained in supply and demand of water.

Below table shows water consumed by crops based on liter/Kg criteria.

Commodity Water Footprint (l/kg)
Sugar 197
Spices 7048
Fibers 3837
Tobacco 2925
Oil Crops 2364
Cereals 1644
Fruits 967
Vegetables 322

Importance of Conservation of Water in Agriculture


Cite this Article in APA Style as

[box type=”note” ]Rahman, M. A. (2017, October 31). Conservation of Water in Agriculture[Blog Post]. Retrieved from[/box]


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