On the agenda
Replace traditional irrigation with a drip system.
One of the pillars of sustainable development is using natural resources wisely. We must conserve the resources that the environment gives us in finite supply like trees and water, etc. This means that water management in agriculture is essential for anyone who wants to be involved in the ecological transition.
Irrigation is central to this matter. It is one of the biggest areas of water consumption in agriculture. At the Gniewkowo site in Poland, as in many of our fields, farmers have chosen a new irrigation method—the traditional system has been replaced with drip irrigation.
40% less water used
The idea behind drip irrigation is to provide crops with only the water they need, irrigating only in the desired areas to eliminate waste.
Sometimes referred to as micro-irrigation, this system directly reaches the plant roots by delivering water to their base at a slow, steady rate.
The water goes directly into the soil rather than staying in contact with plants—less evaporation, therefore less water loss.
Drip irrigation does not just save water; it also consumes less energy, which makes it doubly appealing. Farmers installed this system on 92 hectares of farmland and reduced their electricity and water consumption by more than one-third.
Better soil protection with drip irrigation
Not only does traditional irrigation cost more in terms of natural resource depletion, it also causes high rates of soil erosion, which diminishes soil quality. So, drip irrigation is more valuable from that point of view as well, as it preserves the structure of the soil and holds it in place.
There are also yield benefits—healthy soil produces more!
The environmental impact of irrigation
Like all farming methods, irrigation has an impact on the environment in which it is practiced. To promote sustainable development, it is important to know how to measure and quantify the effects of the irrigation system in order to adapt the most eco-friendly methods. The effects of irrigation may be measured through the volumes of bodies of water or aquifers, soil salinity, soil erosion, etc.