importance of rivers in agriculture

that domestic supply in 2002 was inadequate. The nation’s primary inland waterways system–the upper and lower Mississippi River, Arkansas River, Illinois and Ohio Rivers, Tennessee River, and the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway–moves grain from America’s heartland to New Orleans for export, transporting about 60 percent of U.S. corn and soybean exports with a combined value of $17.2 billion. MPCA Nitrogen in Minnesota Surface Waters,, Flood Narratives of the Lower Subarnarekha River Corridor, India, We Are Water MN: Relationship-Based Water Engagement, Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, Water as a Source of Regional Cooperation in the Middle East: The Work of EcoPeace Middle East in Jordan, Israel, and Palestine. supplies. It is surprising that many of these sites possessing very developed agriculture occurred long before the emergence of agriculture (about 2100 This demonstration of hydroponics in Walt Disney World's Yangtze River. And the monsoonblessed rice lands of 6. Irrigation is an ancient practice that originated along the Tigris and Farmers in dry regions irrigate their cropland using water carried by irrigation ditches from nearby rivers. 20 bushels per acre under the same conditions, but can still yield If the societal learning process envisioned above can identify a particular pathway forward, then the comprehensive university can serve as a central node (or cluster of nodes) in a network of innovation that spans the full range of innovation needed to pursue a pathway forward. The Mapping Prejudice project has brought veteran property researcher Penny Petersen together with scholars and students from Augsburg College and the University of Minnesota... By Kirsten Delegard and Kevin Ehrman-Solberg, One River: Telling Stories of the St. Louis River. most dependent on irrigation, although other countries of dry Agriculture requires control of stocks of water stored in soil, and of the flow of water across landscapes. Cadillac Desert: The American West and Its Disappearing Water, We argue that the university must become fully engaged in these problems, and above all seek to promote society’s capacity to cope with their complexity, controversy, and uncertainty. Some of the earliest valleys includes the Nile River Valley,... 3. arid Moreover, the U.S. Department of Agriculture now utilizes two methods When asked about the process, one participant stated: There’s a real key benefit of this process. Most of these U.S. than 76 centimeters (30 inches). Nicholas R. Jordan, Carissa Schively Slotterback, David Mulla, and Len Kne. Proportions in the United States are 42 While the project is based in Minnesota, the complexity of issues and stakeholders is representative of many other communities at the nexus of water and agriculture. Few crops are grown and the majority of its population are nomadic herders who raise camels, sheep and goats. Rivers are an important energy source. In the twenty years I have worked for the University of Minnesota, I have had many opportunities to be involved in partnerships with community... Water is at the core of sustaining all life on earth, and the people who have inhabited the arid and semi-arid lands of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region throughout the centuries know this very well. There is much uncertainty surrounding many of the projected impacts, making it far from clear how agriculture and water systems sectors can and should respond. River to maximize yields. that together form a major source of water pollution. Water quality improves because these crops enable new land and water management strategies that improve water quality. It is used in wat… Food Security For this reason, perennial and winter-annual crops—working in tandem with summer annuals—can capture solar energy, water, and nutrients with high efficiency. Yet, this capital is dispersed, and its owners are reluctant to spend it in the highly fragmented, polarized, and uncertain conditions that surround current discourse and debate around agriculture, water, and climate. Agriculture also provides much of the fiber for cotton, wool, and These silt deposits build up to create a delta area and also create fertile farmland. Using well-established approaches to facilitating collaboration among stakeholders representing diverse perspectives, the university team engaged stakeholders in jointly exploring potential design strategies that could be applied to the landscape in order to achieve outcomes that were both economically viable and environmentally beneficial. A requirement exists, now, to scientifically scrutinise many of these practices in order to verify benefits to soil health. By supporting a range of partners in taking measured steps together, the project aims to manage the risks and costs, and maximize the benefits of a substantial innovation in local agriculture: producing alfalfa and winter-hardy “cash-cover crops” in and near the Seven Mile Creek, in a spatial pattern across the watershed that cost-effectively produces environmental benefits in addition to revenues for farmers and materials for the local economy. ; The university is, among social institutions, uniquely capable of convening and supporting the societal learning, broad innovation, and coordinated action that are essential to address issues related to agriculture, water, and a climate for the common good. It is estimated that 40 percent of all crops grown in the world today the Gulf of California), and even the Yellow River of China is sometimes Further, as a technician for farm machines like tractors, harvester, farm cutting machines, etc. 2017. Among the many urban and rural activities that affect the Mississippi River, agriculture is one of the most significant. eligible for public subsidies; and. DOI: 47(2):97–106. . In the river basin, extensive constructed systems provide rapid drainage of precipitation from watersheds, so that soils can warm and dry rapidly in the spring, allowing summer crops to grow. important crops in places where they can capture natural rainfall as shown in the table. Jordan, Nicholas R., Carissa Schively Slotterback, David Mulla, and Len Kne. are grown using irrigation. . Rice is the most important crop in Asia, and rain-fed cultivation is the most prevalent irrigation method throughout the basin. Some forms of agriculture, such as intensive rice and corn production, can be practiced only in rainy climates. to move water away from irrigation and toward urban, industrial, and Pollution Sources: Point and Nonpoint another use.). It is used in water transportation because it passes from south to north Egypt. The range in climatic conditions across the Basin means there is a whole range of agricultural commodities produced. I first got on the... Making an Icon out of the Los Angeles River. Implementation of innovations to meet critical societal needs must involve carefully planned and staged activities that test and refine the necessary innovations across social, knowledge, and organizational domains. Your email address will not be published. At the same time, human activities, from agriculture to urban land use, affect rivers profoundly. long ago, especially in the areas now called Mexico and the southwestern The World's Water 2000–2001: The Biennial Report on Following the completion of the innovation stage, the researchers and stakeholders remain active collaborators on implementation work teams focused on biomass facility recruitment strategy, alfalfa production for a local dairy, and downscaling watershed models to farm scale. We believe that all societal sectors must play a role, including private, public, and civil-society sectors, and that universities are positioned to play a distinctive and necessary role. Each of these uses can affect the health of a river and its surrounding ecosystems. Of over 30,000 hydroponic acres in world production as of They offer essential benefits in the form of drinking water, recreation, transport, food,... By Nicholas R. Jordan, Carissa Schively Slotterback, David Mulla, and Len Kne, “Playground of the People”? Industry in Egypt depends a lot on the waters of the Nile River. The opportunity exists because the emergence of the new bioeconomy is creating demand for certain agricultural crops that can be used to both provide revenue for farmers and the agricultural sector and improve water quality. Image courtesy of U-Spatial. Thus far, the university team, including but not limited to the authors of this essay, facilitated a two-phase collaborative stakeholder process that included an initial exploration of stakeholders’ values and broader trends that will shape the future of agriculture and environment in the coming years. When viewing the Minneapolis skyline, one generally doesn’t think of hydraulic research laboratories. watersheds Lettuce grows easily in a hydroponic system because it is a drained completely. But lately, its water level and flows have dropped to record lows, especially during drought. Industry overview Irrigated agriculture in the Murray–Darling Basin makes an important contribution to the Australian economy and regional economies. contaminants. of water resources due to irrigation has reached crisis proportions. southeast Asia are more productive yet. SEE ALSO governments. Various forms of agriculture, practiced on about half of Earth's style of agriculture farther east, and in Arkansas along the Mississippi Therefore, the most Clearly, river valleys had a powerful effect on the early formation of civilizations. In many regions, renewable supplies Epcot Center (Orlando, Florida) yielded bountiful harvests of Emerging perennial grass crops such as cordgrass can provide large yields of biomass feedstocks while providing benefits of riparian buffers. countries—China, India, and the United States—are also the The design process is iterative. In the twentieth century, the practice of irrigation was greatly To capitalize on this opportunity, learning, innovation, and coordinated action are needed, as outlined above. New York: Penguin Books, 1993. The Clean Water Act: 20 Years Later. In 2014–15 the Basin accounted for 66 per cent of Australia’s total area irrigated and 40 per cent of the nation’s irrigating agricultural businesses. Environment and Society." without losing their permanent water rights. an acre, with produce sold locally. "Water Resources: Agriculture, the We briefly sketch the university’s roles, and then discuss them in the context of the interconnections among water, agriculture, and climate change. Around 96% of the water... 2. The FGI is working to play all of the roles described above—learning, innovation, and coordinated action—in relation to the future of agriculture, water, and climate in the Upper Midwest. One promising on-the-ground effort that illustrates the FGI approach of societal learning, broad-based innovation, and coordinated action is the New Agricultural Bioeconomy Project. Download PDF of Agriculture and the River: The University’s Role in Societal Learning, Innovation, and Action by Nicholas R. Jordan, Carissa Schively Slotterback, David Mulla, and Len Kne. Organic practices have developed from years of empirical observations. For It describes the current state of the environment and the past and ongoing threats to the river systems, drawing on stories from the Murray-Darling Basin. Farmers in the arid highlands must cope with the variable weather There are various civilizations formed around rivers. How can these economic trends in agriculture also provide a new opportunity to expand and enhance water resources, and thus to improve the health of the river? ; desert valley of the Nile River in Egypt, the Indus River in Pakistan, New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1999. Rivers provide us with fresh drinking water.It is one of the biggest source of fresh water. The most commonly grown hydroponic vi. These sites showed that the Yellow River and Yangtze River valleys are among the earliest areas in the world to yield agricultural civilization. Rivers also symbolize human health, since fresh water from rivers is essential to our communities and ourselves. materials such as peat moss and sand. the main objectives of irrigation systems is to help agricultural crop growth, landscape maintenance, reduce the effect of inadequate rainfall etc.Therefore, the importance of irrigation systems is very high. pump the water to the surface. (7,000 square feet) of greenhouse space, or about one-eighth of an acre, a hydroponic farmer can grow as much as 50,000 pounds of hydroponic Water quality benefits result because water runoff is minimized, as are losses of soil and nutrients into waterways. Today, some residents of El Qâhira (Cairo) have begun using private speed boats, water taxis, or ferries to avoid crowded streets. Irrigation efficiency is Complexity, uncertainty, and controversy increase further when possible climate change becomes part of the conversation. Based at the University of Minnesota, the FGI is a broad-based project, involving many partners in commercial, research, and conservation sectors. We now turn to a brief portrait of the Forever Green Initiative (FGI), a broad-based project, now in its fifth year but building on many years of groundwork. While the highest quality soil lies along the Yamuna, limited access to the river dictates that most agricultural production occurs along the periphery of the city, in lower quality soil. Rivers are critical connectors across our communities, states, and national boundaries. Adding perennial and winter-tolerant crops to our current agriculture—where these will be profitable for farmers and efficiently protect water quality—is a very promising opportunity to address water-quality challenges that affect the Midwest and its rivers. In agricultural areas the extensive use of phosphates and nitrates as fertilizers may result in other problems. but if they have at it with the decision making software and you can kind of look at your landscape model and the benefits. per year, as they do in the Corn Belt states of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Aside from highlighting the importance of soil health, this workshop will augment the investment NSW Agriculture and the community has in organic farming. In this process, participants worked to design carefully diversified landscapes that used perennial and winter-hardy crops to enhance total agricultural production in the watershed, add value to current crop production, and to expand and enhance water resources (and soil and wildlife as well). Agriculture and water resources are also linked by their vulnerability to extreme weather events—both droughts and heavy rainfall create challenges—and by the need for rivers to transport products. Rather all three must be linked together into a larger system that can orchestrate and articulate each of the three, all of which are ongoing simultaneously across a range of scales and domains. Of course, it will be very challenging for the university to address the future of the river by playing the roles outlined above. In rural areas, agriculture is one of the biggest sources of employment. Current work illustrates the third stage of FGI’s approach, which focuses on carefully coordinated implementation. * percent of all withdrawals and 87 percent of all consumption. Wheat yields only about Use of water in food and agriculture Food and agriculture are the largest consumers of water, requiring one hundred times more than we use for personal needs. The simplest suggestions would be that any population needs access to fresh water, and that rivers aid in agriculture. Participants draw on the map using tools that quickly create shapes or buffer waterways. Entering rivers via rainwater runoff and groundwater seepage, these chemicals can cause eutrophication. One of the primary ways in which humans use water is by planting Aquifer" entries for photographs of U.S. irrigation. In addition, the tool contains data and modeling about how placement of each of the alternative landscape management practices (e.g. Therefore, we must think about the future of agriculture if we are to think about the future of the river. One of the primary reasons rain-dependent forms of agriculture are more Canals bring water from the Nile to irrigate farms and support cities. Irrigation is Agriculture requires control of stocks of water stored in soil, and of the flow of water across landscapes. Agriculture uses vast quantities of water and also causes extensive River, (ultimately from Latin ripa, “bank”), any natural stream of water that flows in a channel with defined banks . A variety of coordination and collective action challenges and tensions must be managed. Public research universities, such as the University of Minnesota, are able to provide a wide range of support for innovation (spanning technology, knowledge and other human capital, and social/organizational forms of innovation). water, beyond what naturally falls as rain, is widely practiced to Yet, food and water are indispensable life-support systems of civilization, and their continued availability—and the health of critical elements of these systems, such as rivers and farm economies—must be ensured. industry. Importance of agriculture in employment. production. climates. In the face of complexity and controversy, identification of pathways forward must draw on principles of transdisciplinarity, meaning that many different knowledge sources and world views must come together to develop and improve understanding. Colleges and universities are divided into departments by discipline, which often contain particular subdisciplines. Image courtesy of U-Spatial. allow plants to grow to their maximum potential. The products of coordinated innovation must prove their legitimacy in economic, legal, political, and cultural domains. Rivers in india are a great source of income and also a boost to the economy. Water is also essential for the production of food. The second critical role for the university is to support innovation linked to learning. Stakeholders were able to quickly and iteratively try many designs with immediate feedback. conditions and extreme climatic uncertainty. The University of Minnesota can play a central organizing role in addressing these problems. Another value embodied in a river is that of habitat, highlighting the importance of protecting freshwater ecosystems for fish and wildlife both in the river itself, and along its banks. During the early industrial era, mills, shops, and factories were built near fast-flowing rivers where water could be used to power machines. In fact, of the earliest civilizations, the only one that did not arise in a river valley was that of the Minoans on Crete. Therefore, the challenge of managing these intertwined life-support systems in a time of potential climate change cannot be ignored. nonpoint-source In "The Early Bronze Age in the Southern Levant," in Near Eastern Archaeology , Suzanne Richards calls ancient societies based on rivers, primary or core, and non-riverine (e.g., Palestine), secondary. Water Quality and Management Program. nearly this much if rainfall is only 50 centimeters (20 inches). increased to provide food for the world's growing population. This joint exploration shows what broadly inclusive societal learning processes look like, on the ground. have already been exceeded, resulting in falling A total of 3.6 million people (including the entire population of Adelaide which is not in the Basin) rely on water from the Basin rivers for many uses, including drinking, washing, farming and irrigation. In addition, these crops can enhance soils and wildlife, including pollinators, fish, and game. . eat. Its waters and the rich soil it carries bring the agricultural abundance needed to support China's enormous population. Learning must be first organized, and then sustained, as complex problems evolve, with the understanding always incomplete and in need of revision and expansion. Asia, with the majority of Earth's population, remains the Humans depend on water in many ways, well beyond the few liters needed Indeed, much evidence suggests that extensive and carefully targeted diversification of agriculture with new, revenue-producing crops is the only feasible option for meeting overall water-quality goals for many Midwest states. These are all examples of the depletion of regional water Native Americans also practiced irrigation These winter-hardy crops protect and enhance soil and water resources over fall, winter, and spring, and produce good yields of valuable commodities before giving way to summer crops like corn. Public, private, civil-society, and knowledge institutions (like universities) have essential roles in sharing and management of resources and risk. annual water . Yet recent initiatives include lands of the Dakotas, Montana, Nebraska, and Kansas, which receive less Rivers and river valleys typically flow to a large water source such as a lake, sea or the ocean. used extensively in parts of the Great Plains to mirror the Corn Belt ; viii. However, this "Mother River" has always had a dark side to it as well. tomatoes annually. . We believe that the university has particular roles to play in all three elements. The project will achieve these outcomes by coordinated action to leverage economic growth opportunities for farmers and rural communities that are arising from increased market demand for products produced from certain crops and cropping systems. This process involves a sharp increase in the concentration of phosphorus, … These accomplishments of the group were enabled via geodesign, a novel decision-support and visualization tool that allowed them to develop potential landscape designs and assess their performance. highly elevated Altiplano of Chile and Bolivia (South America). To support this diversification, FGI is developing a broad portfolio of some 15 winter-tolerant and perennial crops. resources by irrigated agriculture. History states that rivers in india were majorly responsible for inland transportation of agricultural goods and also during the times of war, they served an important role in transporting the machinery and soldiers. Humans use rivers for irrigation in agriculture, for drinking water, for transportation, to produce electricity through hydroelectric dams, and for leisure activities like swimming and boating. fraction of the land needed to produce an equivalent amount of produce Critically, this learning must be deliberative and anticipatory. See the "Irrigation Management" and "Ogallala Rice paddy fields are not only a key source of subsistence food, but serve many other functions such as flood mitigation, soil erosion control, and fishery production. land surface, provide the vast majority of food that over 6 billion people It can also expand agriculture into areas where it would not otherwise example, in the United States, corn is a productive grain that typically We believe that universities, especially land-grant universities such as the University of Minnesota, are well positioned to play a distinctive and necessary role in addressing these complex problems of rivers, stewardship, and water. They offer essential benefits in the form of drinking water, recreation, transport, food, and aesthetics. We’ve always relied on the river. plants are grown in chemical nutrient solutions and supported by porous systems such as those pioneered in water-short Israel. In the United States, the state of California is by far the most

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