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Farming with Less Water

[Poland]

On the Agenda

Replacing traditional irrigation with a drip system.

Water-Saving Irrigation

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, such as trees, water and energy. This means that water management in agriculture is essential for anyone who wants to be part of the ecological transition.

Irrigation is central to this issue. It is one of the biggest contributors to water consumption in agriculture. At the Gniewkowo site in Poland, as in many of our fields, farmers have chosen a new irrigation method, replacing the traditional system with drip irrigation.

Cutting Water and Energy Usage by 40%

The idea behind drip irrigation is to provide crops with only the water they need, irrigating only in specific areas. This eliminates waste.

Sometimes referred to as micro-irrigation, this system directly reaches plant roots by delivering water to their bases at a slow, steady rate.

The water goes directly into the soil rather than staying in contact with plants. Less evaporation means 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 a 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. This is another benefit of drip irrigation, as it preserves the structure of the soil and holds it in place.

There are also benefits in terms of production, as healthier soil means higher yields!

The Environmental Impact of Irrigation

Like all farming methods, irrigation has an impact on the environment in which it is practiced, accounting for 70% of all water usage around the world. To promote sustainable development, it is important to know how to measure and quantify the effects of the irrigation system in order to adopt the eco-friendliest methods. The effects of irrigation may be measured through the volume of bodies of water or aquifers, soil salinity, soil erosion, and more.

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