It All Starts with Water

Aug 2, 2023 - Wednesday

Source of life, blood of the earth; WATER. At the very beginning of everything, there was only “WATER”.

At the point reached today, ironically, 3.6 billion people in our world, 70% of which is water, do not have sufficient access to water for at least one month a year. This figure is expected to rise to 5 billion by 2050. So why have we started to experience water shortages and droughts so often, even though there has been the same amount of water in the world for centuries? Where can the agricultural sector be in this problem and its solution? Let's take a closer look.

Around 1.4 billion km³ of water in the world is in constant motion between water reserves. More than 97.4% of this water in our world is salt water, only 2.6% of the water source can be called fresh water. This is 2.6% of fresh water; More than 70% is frozen in glaciers. More than 28% is stored in groundwater resources. So there is only about 0.2% fresh surface water available. This water source, which is fixed in the world with the water cycle, that is, heated, evaporated, condensed and returned to the earth in various ways, has always been the subject of the establishment and collapse of states, the reason of wars and the struggle for existence. However, access to clean water has become more and more difficult in the recent past. The water cycle has been affected more and more by the climate crisis. Waste waters were transferred to the oceans and seas without being treated, forest and green areas were reduced, fires increased, and groundwater was consumed more than necessary. Air pollution and global warming have increased due to industrialization and carbon footprint. Besides all these; Population growth, socio-economic developments, changing consumption habits have caused annual water use to increase by approximately 1% each year for more than 40 years, and it is expected to increase at the same rate until 2050.

In other words, we, the people who are made up of WATER, the source of life, use our water of life more and more unconsciously to increase our economic power, and also cause its natural cycle and balance to deteriorate.

There is water shortage all over the world. However, our country is located in a semi-arid location in the Mediterranean Basin. This basin is one of the most sensitive areas of the world against climate change. A temperature increase of 2˚C in this basin may cause more frequent and severe events such as unexpected weather events, heat waves, increase in the number and impact of forest fires, loss of biodiversity, loss of agricultural yield and drought. Extreme rainfall at the end of long drought periods do not solve this situation as it exceeds the water holding capacity of the soil, and even worsens the situation due to the floods and soil erosion it creates.

With the increasing population, we are currently in the category of countries under water stress with the amount of water use per capita of 1323 liters. Unfortunately, scenarios for this figure to decrease below 750 liters in 2030 and beyond are spoken by scientists. Even though this situation has already passed the limit of completely avoidable as a cumulative result of our actions, we can work to reduce its effects and severity. More than 70% of fresh water resources in our world and in our country are used in agricultural activities. For this reason, we need to transform in the field of agriculture, where we use our fresh water resources the most, to think, learn, and raise awareness by taking advantage of the benefits of technology. For this transformation, we can start with the modernization of irrigation systems. According to TEMA; While in conventional irrigation systems, an average of 4 liters of water per second is given to 1 hectare of irrigation area, this amount can be reduced to 1.2 liters with modern irrigation methods, such as sprinkler and drip systems. Thus, 2/3 of water savings can be achieved. Using water unconsciously with conventional methods, classical irrigation systems does not only increase your water and energy costs; it also negatively affects your plant and soil health. It causes deterioration of the structure of the soil and decreases the yield. Due to diseases and low productivity, the farmer tends to more agricultural inputs, and in this case, an increase in costs becomes inevitable. As a result of excessive use of chemicals; your soil becomes polluted, the quality of your groundwater and other water resources decreases due to excess chemicals mixed with the soil, and the safety of your product is endangered.

For all these reasons, abcoFARM has been carrying out sustainable agricultural practices in order to pass the fertile soil heritage of Çukurova, fed by Seyhan, Ceyhan and Berdan, down to future generations, by using fully integrated, fully automated drip irrigation systems in all its fields since the day it was founded. With Digital Agricultural Stations installed on abcoFARM's lands, soil moisture data is transmitted to irrigation automation every 10 minutes. As soon as the irrigation need is met with the data coming from here, the automation stops the irrigation. Based on the precipitation information coming from the Digital Agricultural Stations, the automation can change the irrigation operation related to the rainy days. Thus, the possible precipitation situation during the day or weekly, the precipitation amount and the effects on the land provide savings and efficiency with early operation management in irrigation planning for that week. In this way, unnecessary irrigation is prevented and energy savings are provided. This structure also works in a fully integrated setup with the Digital Agricultural Stations, where end-to-end irrigation management is provided unmanned.

In addition, abcoFARM uses Monofilament UV added protection tulle, produced by Abdioğulları, as a cover in its gardens to prevent excessive evaporation, protect the product from heat and light damage, and therefore protect our natural resources. abcoFARM shares its know-how about sustainable agriculture practices with all its stakeholders and the sector through national and international events, fairs, conferences and communication activities it participates in, and continues to work for setting an example and contributing to the protection of our natural resources.

May your water and product be plentiful!

Whoever uses water wisely,  may be as holy as water!

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