Growing world population and climate change, depleting natural resources, and in the XXI century is facing increasingly acute shortage of water. If the year 2050 in the world, is expected to be 9 billion people, to feed them, you will need a lot of water — and yet in some regions are already enough. For example, in Texas this year due to the unprecedented drought farmers had to save every drop.
In the sky above the Texan High Plains again cloudless. The hottest and driest summers in state history adversely affected the crops. Farmer Harold Grell sighed cleanses dry ear of corn, "Look what a little cob. And the grains in it quite a bit. "
The drought has cost the owners of local farms and ranches more than $ 5 million. According Grella, this is the driest summer in those 33 years, he worked on a farm.
"But we have to make something good out of this painful experience. So we try to learn something, "- says the farmer.
Among those who teach farmers cope with drought — an expert on irrigation from Nick Kenny of the University of Texas of agriculture and engineering.
"It is unpleasant when people have to go through this, but it is fundamentally changing the system of allocation of resources, so maybe in the next year on the Texas high plains all going to be different," — he said.
A change here is essential. According to Harold Grella, but this year the situation was really disastrous, and the problem here is the usual time, "We know where this is going. After all, it is not difficult to understand that this rate we will soon run out of water. "
Water that farmers use for irrigation, comes from a closed underground tank, which eventually depleted. In some places, it will not be earlier than 100 years, but some of the current rate of consumption of water will suffice only for 10-20 years. And with the power dwindle and the economy of the region.
"Irrigated agriculture — our source of livelihood. And we need to understand how to keep it as long as possible ", — said Steve Uoltor, the head of local government for the protection of water resources.
In another field Harold Grella irrigation system is built according to the latest guidelines.
Garden hose hung close to the ground and deliver water directly to the base of the plant.
Compared to the old method of watering the beds it is much more economical.
Grell does not take away from the remains of last year's crop fields — according to him, they cool the soil and retain moisture in it, not letting it evaporate. Besides, they do not give the water to drain, working like a giant sponge, absorbs all the rainwater. A soak, the water enters the plants.
And by the plants need less water. This year Grell tried new drought-resistant varieties of maize. "You see — ears of normal size, and filled almost to the top," — he said. In conditions of extreme drought, they have shown themselves much better conventional varieties.
And Grell uses a high-tech system for measuring the water level in the soil. The sensors send information directly to their computer. This lets you know if there is enough water, a plant. "Now I can monitor the condition of the soil in real time" — says Grell.
This system is not cheap. Each sensor cost a farmer in 2500 dollars. But Grell sure that in the future, these costs will be paid back, "Soon it will be different. We all need different tools that will allow us to save water. "
After all, in a region where farming — is not only a profession but a way of life, keep the water — so save a life.