9 April

Thriving beyond water woes

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Journalist George Monbiot's article, ‘Dry Run’  (see reference list below for the original article), which highlights the issues of increased global food production, water shortages, and agriculture's environmental effects presents a significant scientific argument of which several stakeholder communiques have raised concerns about the recent global changes, human activities, and their adverse effects.

Water shortage, in particular, is a major worldwide concern, and rising food consumption aggravates the demand for water supplies. It is commonly understood that agricultural methods, especially irrigation, have a significant impact on water use. The agricultural sector is heavily dependent on water and thus it is more exposed to water concerns.            

The issue of the agricultural sector’s inextricably intertwined relationship with water puts several regions of the planet closer daily to drought. According to the weekly U.S. Drought Monitor (USDM), as of February 27, 2024, 21.59% of the Contiguous United States (CONUS) (18.09% including Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico) was experiencing moderate to severe (D1-D4) drought. Jorge Olcina, Director of the University of Alicante's climatology laboratory says “The current situation is much more critical in Catalonia and Andalusia, where water storage tanks are less than 25% full”. Both communities imposed water restrictions at the end of February, meaning homeowners could no longer irrigate their gardens or fill their pools.

Some have also questioned the suspected role of The High-frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) in some major catastrophes such as the Haiti earthquake, the Indonesian tsunami, and Hurricane Katrina. Professor Michel Chossudovsky in Weather Warfare describes HAARP as a weapon of mass destruction with the tendency to cause harm to the ecological and agricultural systems across the planet. HAARP is made up of a set of strong antennas that can produce a regulated amount of micro changes in the ionosphere and as a result, climate change is not far-fetched. Jessica Matthews , Director of HAARP, however, denies rumours of weather manipulation, basing the reason on science saying "HAARP cannot affect the weather, in Iowa or anywhere". However, could it be that the experimental activity in the ionosphere is a causative agent to some of these climate issues?

Could it be that the experimental activity in the ionosphere is a causative agent to some climate issues?

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Stakeholder engagements and technological and scientific interventions have had crucial roles to play in turning these issues around and protecting the environment. Monbiot expresses concern about the idea of the "irrigation efficiency paradox" which is the economic concept that when technology improves irrigation efficiency, it becomes more affordable, resulting in greater expenditure and growth of areas being irrigated. He is of the view that irrigation efficiency might lead to increasing water demand, and thus, a need for enforcement of ever more strict government regulations. Two truths however can coexist. Government regulations provide for a balanced delivery of initiatives. Private corporations like The Better2Earth Group have developed products such as Crop2Boost that enhance plant growth and soil aeration while conserving water. Crop2Boost optimizes soil water retention and infiltration, lowering fertilizer consumption by up to 50%, and leading to increased production and profitability.

Improving agriculture's water management is also consequently critical for an environmentally safe and efficient agro-food industry. The idea of adjusting dietary patterns to decrease water footprints is consistent with a more extensive discourse on ecologically sound agriculture. Animal farming, particularly for meat and dairy production, has a greater impact on the ecosystem, including water usage, than plant-based alternatives. However, it is important to remember that individual dietary decisions are complicated, and these decisions can be influenced by a variety of variables such as cultural, nutritional, and personal preferences.

In conclusion, the concerns raised in Dry Run appear to be valid and many of the concepts he presents are already known. However, there is continuous scientific study into these environmental issues and the responsibilities of stakeholders to position themselves to give agriculture and water an effective sustainability approach. Through collaborative efforts and embracing technological advancements, we can cultivate a thriving agricultural ecosystem for generations to come.

What is in your power to contribute to this sustainable journey?

Reference List

Professor Michel Chossudovsky. Weather Warfarehttp://www.chemtrailplanet.com/PDF/WeatherWarfare.pdf 

George Monbiat, Dry Run. https://www.monbiot.com/2024/03/11/dry-run/

AP NEWS. (2023). Drought will cause crop failures in Spain, farmers warn. [online] Available at: https://apnews.com/article/spain-drought-andalusia-agriculture-crops-climate-change-8c6f8be6b09dc0e905c9c7fcf0a89f6f.

Better2Earth. (n.d.). Crop2Boost. [online] Available at: https://better2earth.com/crop2boost/.

Christian, J.I., Hobbins, M., Hoell, A., Otkin, J.A., Ford, T.W., Cravens, A.E., Powlen, K.A., Wang, H. and Mishra, V. (2024). Flash drought: A state of the science review. WIREs Water. doi:https://doi.org/10.1002/wat2.1714.

Chossudovsky, P. (2007). Weather Warfare: Beware the US Military’s Experiments with Climatic Warfare ‘Climatic warfare’ Has Been Excluded from the Agenda on Climate Change. [online] Available at: http://www.chemtrailplanet.com/PDF/WeatherWarfare.pdf.

Food And Agriculture Organization Of The United Nations (2019). Agriculture and climate change : challenges and opportunities at the global and local level : collaboration on climate-smart agriculture. Rome: Food And Agriculture Organization Of The United Nations.

Grafton, R.Q., Williams, J., Perry, C.J., Molle, F., Ringler, C., Steduto, P., Udall, B., Wheeler, S.A., Wang, Y., Garrick, D. and Allen, R.G. (2018). The paradox of irrigation efficiency. Science, [online] 361(6404), pp.748–750. doi:https://doi.org/10.1126/science.aat9314.

Haarp.gi.alaska.edu. (n.d.). About HAARP | HAARP. [online] Available at: https://haarp.gi.alaska.edu/.

https://www.facebook.com/FRANCE24.English (2023). ‘The Country Is Becoming a desert’: Drought-struck Spain Is Running out of Water. [online] France 24. Available at: https://www.france24.com/en/europe/20230513-the-country-is-becoming-a-desert-drought-struck-spain-is-running-out-of-water.

Hunter, M.C., Smith, R.G., Schipanski, M.E., Atwood, L.W. and Mortensen, D.A. (2017). Agriculture in 2050: Recalibrating Targets for Sustainable Intensification. BioScience, 67(4), pp.386–391. doi:https://doi.org/10.1093/biosci/bix010.

Lankford, B., Alvar Closas, Dalton, J., Elena López Gunn, Hess, T., Knox, J.W., van, Lautze, J., Molden, D., Orr, S., Pittock, J., Richter, B., Riddell, P.J., Scott, C.A., Jean-Philippe Venot, Vos, J. and Margreet Zwarteveen (2020). A scale-based framework to understand the promises, pitfalls and paradoxes of irrigation efficiency to meet major water challenges. Global Environmental Change, 65, pp.102182–102182. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2020.102182.

Monbiot, G. (2024). Dry Run. [online] George Monbiot. Available at: https://www.monbiot.com/2024/03/11/dry-run/ [Accessed 3 Apr. 2024].

Reporter, A.P.U.S.N. (2024). What is HAARP? Iowa caucuses weather control conspiracy theory explained. [online] Newsweek. Available at: https://www.newsweek.com/what-haarp-iowa-caucus-weather-control-conspiracy-theory-1860800.

Savelli, E., Rusca, M., Cloke, H. and Di Baldassarre, G. (2022). Drought and society: Scientific progress, blind spots, and future prospects. WIREs Climate Change. doi:https://doi.org/10.1002/wcc.761.

www.oecd.org. (n.d.). Water and Agriculture - OECD. [online] Available at: https://www.oecd.org/agriculture/topics/water-and -agriculture/#:~:text=In%20addition%2C%20agriculture%20remains%20a.

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