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4 Ways Farmers Are Saving Water

The agricultural industry in South Africa has, on numerous occasions, faced droughts for varying lengths of time. During these dry periods, farmers have to rely on groundwater reserves in order to see them through the rainless season. Due to unregulated water reserves, farmers need to start practicing more sustainable water usage techniques in order to conserve for the future. Here are just some of the ways farmers are conserving water and paving the way for a more sustainable future.

Harvesting and Storing Water

While usually relying on municipal water or boreholes, many farmers have started building their own storage dams to capture rainfall for use throughout dry seasons. During the rainy season the storage dam becomes full and can then be relied on during periods of drought. Well-managed storage dams can also become a water resource for livestock or local wildlife. The usage of storage dams creates greater water sustainability and minimises the impact on shared water resources.

Smart Irrigation Scheduling

The management of water usage is not limited to where the water reserves comes from. Water should also be properly and reliably used in frequency and amount. Smart irrigation management systems implemented by irrigation suppliers can assist farmers to schedule watering for when it is necessary. To determine when watering is necessary, and how much is needed, farmers carefully monitor plant and soil moisture, as well as the weather forecast.

Rotational Grazing

Moving livestock between fields is the process known as rotational grazing. This practice enables the regrowth of pastures during rotational down time. Through this competent grazing management system, the water absorption and retention of fields is increased, therefore water runoff is decreased. Pastures then become more sustainable for usage during periods of drought.

Compost and Mulch

The use of compost and mulch improves the structure of soil which in turn positively impacts its water-holding capacity. Mulch is used to conserve moisture by becoming a water absorption layer on top of the soil, this can then further breakdown into compost and increase the soil’s ability to retain water. The use of compost and mulch is a sustainable practice which allows farmers and gardeners to retain more water in the soil during the dryer seasons.

Tip: While using alternative methods in order to optimise the use of rainwater and minimise the impact on local water resources, it is important to maintain and repair local water supply networks and drainage systems. Make use of reliable and sufficient plumbing services in order to efficiently use your municipal water supply, businesses like IPC Plumbing can complete all maintenance of pipes and fixtures while ensuring that legislation and policies are met for agribusinesses.

For more agribusiness water solutions, such as professional plumbing services and irrigation suppliers, browse through the Agrifood SA directory. Discover the best solution providers who can assist you in optimising your farm in order to save water and create more sustainability for the future.

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