Drought Causing Worries For U.S. Farmers
Eighty percent of all fresh water consumed in the United States is used to produce food. And a vast percentage of that water is wasted as run off that runs into lakes and rivers polluting them due to pesticides, fertilizers, and other wastes the run off carries with it. Simply put, irrigation techniques in this country must be refined in order to cut down on wasted water, pollution, and less water intensive crops need to be focused on. And that includes the criminal waste put out by Factory Farms.
Tougher regulation of farm runoff needed
However, it is the more water intensive crops such as corn that carry the biggest price, since corn is also used for the production of ethanol and biofuel. Seems we find ourselves in quite a quandary. And make no mistake about it, it is a moral dilemma. Also, the other side to that equation and part of that moral dilemma is that we must learn to cut down on our consumption and wean ourselves off of our gluttonous ways in this country. We are so used to having bounty and not having to really want for anything, that now after twenty years of being warned about what this would bring us regarding water scarcity, just when we need to do what is necessary to conserve human nature will not allow us to comply.
However, farmers in states like Nebraska will have no choice, and have placed restrictions on digging new wells due to the level of acquifiers and taken farmland out of production in the Platte River Valley. Years of drought, diversion of water to growing cities, and now concerns about the climate crisis are changing the way farmers work. Specifically in harder hit areas like the Great Plains where farmers fear the Plains are now facing their limits as a world producer of wheat, beef, vegetable oils, and other crops due to water shortages. And they will become more pronounced without the rain necesary to replenish ground water supplies. That also has implications around the world as the U.S. feeds many parts of the world. Therefore, the adverse effects on the world economy must also be taken into account in weighing the moral implications to do what we must do to maintain not only our ability to feed the world, but ourselves.
According to the National Weather Service, persistant drought will run through Ocotber from Montana to Minnesota, through Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas (which is feeling it severely at this time (and is also involved in a current water dispute with Mexico involving the Colorado River)) which is the main wheat growing area in winter months. And we will then have to see just how the situation is regarding ice pack and snow melt which is the primary source of water in the West.
U.S. Drought Monitor
Without it production will be severely limited, and you know already who will pay for that at the grocery store. And this problem will be a growing one for farmers and those who depend on our harvests around the world in years to come.
World population is estimated to be at about 9 billion people by 2025. That will mean that more non -water irrigiation methods will have to be employed in order to feed the world. This includes drip irrigation, center pivot sprinklers, and conservation. Innovation will be the order of the day, and it will not be a choice but a necessity, while maintaining costs without conflict.
Also see: NOAA/Climate Prediction