Water Scarcity In the Mediterranean Region

Water Scarcity In the Mediterranean Region

cropsHow to continue to produce more crops while under water stress? New strategies are emerging to adapt the Mediterranean’s water and land management in view of the ever climate changes. The Mediterranean region is densely populated, water stress is higher and food production strongly depends on the irrigation system.

Producing food results on using 69% of water usage on its irrigation alone, with climate change the decrease of freshwater resources and dryness is impacting future crop production. How the region can decrease water stress and depletion of freshwater resources, while keeping food production?

It is a balancing act the region is facing, the region needs to improve its irrigation systems to continue to meet the ever-growing food demand. It will not allow for expanding irrigation where there is no cropland today.  Water demand for irrigation will most likely be reduced.

The productivity of existing rainfed cropland systems needs to be improved. Improving irrigation efficiency needs to be made. With changing environmental conditions and water constraints will impact crops production. The global foods markets will come under increasing pressure due the supply and demand.

Strategies are needed to improve the output of Mediterranean lands systems, the focus should be on higher irrigation efficiency while keeping higher crop yields or rainfed cropland, trying to preserve water resources.

While we must adapt to the new climate change, some Western European farmers are starting to change how to grow their crops. Shifting from spring to winter varieties. In France the usage of winter barley has increased by 21%. Winter barley is less sensitive to heat, farmers are looking at more robust varieties.

Adding technology to help increase crop yields, it also has provided a way to help farmers to adapt and compensate under climate change.

We need to look at how we can manage and create new ways to be more sustainable with water consumption for crops. While increasing food production, it is a balancing act to continue to adapt to mother nature while using technology and new processes to keep improving and changing the way we farm. This applies for everyone around the world.

We cannot be like ostriches putting our heads into the sand hoping the problem will go away. If we are open to share and communicate amongst countries, we could find solution to water scarcity while learning to irrigate our crops in such a way we are not depleting ourselves of water.