Agriculture and the Water Cycle
by George Powell
Adapting to a changing climate will be one of the key factors to the future success of agriculture. Water conservation in farm settings should start with building the capacity of the land to capture and retain precipitation. Building soil tilth with organics, as well as, using agroforestry methods, are proven tools for water management. Enhancing water storage in the soil can be a cost-effective solution to minimizing drought impacts in dryland farming.
This video presentation was the first of three that I made to the 2020 Water Management Strategies for Dryland Agriculture Webinar Series. The webinar series was sponsored by the BC Agriculture and Food Climate Action Initiative. And, was delivered as part of their regional adaptation program.
This first talk provides an overview of the key components of the water cycle. Secondly, it highlights how climate change is impacting the water cycle. Thirdly, I discuss how water movement influences, and is influenced by, agriculture.
This session is a prelude to my second and third talks. They highlight using agroforestry, organics and building soil tilth as water conservation tools. Collectively they emphasize strategies to build the capacity of farmland to trap and retain water. Using these ‘soft’ infrastructure options can avoid the need for expensive ‘hard’ water supply infrastructure.
Agriculture and the Water Cycle Video
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