Food which is the most important aspect of human life cannot be produced without water. Water is needed for any agriculture related activities, including fishing, farming, crop and animal production to mention a few. It has been proven that approximately about 70% of the world fresh water is used for agricultural purpose.
River and other ground water is directed into farmlands through irrigation for use in large scale and small scale farmlands. Approximately 20% of the world fresh water is used for industrial purpose while the remaining 10% is used for domestic purpose.
In the late twentieth century and the early twenty-first century irrigation system construction has been greatly increased , large area of land that are not suitable for agricultural purpose can now be used for agricultural purpose through irrigation and this greatly increase crop production in both developed and developing countries.
Let’s consider the relationship between water and agriculture.
Fish farming: Large scale fish farming which is an important source of food cannot be made possible without water. Fishes are bred in artificial water bodies like pond while other fishes are gotten directly from natural water bodies like seas and oceans. Fishes like catfish are either cooked fresh or processed by sun drying, tanning and other methods of production and exported out of the country and this serves as a source of revenue to some countries and fish farmers. Some countries are even generate most of their revenue from fish farming. Countries like china, India, USA, Thailand, Japan and Russia produce millions of tons of fishes which are consumed in their countries while others are exported.
Processed food and drugs: Production of some essential processed food and drug cannot be made possible without water. Clean water are purified by certain purification methods to get pure water free from germs which are used to produce drugs and other processed agricultural products.
Source of water: The main source of water for agricultural uses is through natural water bodies like lakes, rivers aquifers and other water bodies. Rainfall is another source of water for agricultural use. Water are stores in tanks and used for irrigation and other agricultural uses.
Limitations: It has been proven that not all volumes of water gotten are used effectively for agricultural use, close to half of water used in irrigation are actually effective for agricultural use while other are wasted by unproductive evaporation and transpiration from plants, some are also absorbed by the soil and this can lead to unwanted waterlogging.
Pollution: Water bodies have been found to be polluted in some areas with industrial wastes and untreated wastes which are ejected directly into water bodies. However this has been reduced by government intervention and laws.
Agriculture will continue to be the major dominant use of water globally, proper maintenance and use of water sources will greatly improve agricultural produce globally.