What does it take to grow the food that makes it to your table? It takes time, a farmer’s hard work, and yes, water…
…But not as much water as you’d think. In fact, in California, over the past half century, agricultural water use has remained about the same, while providing about 43 percent more food than we used to. That means that while the soup, salad, and sandwich you eat at lunch used water, they actually used much less than they would have fifty years ago. It’s the kind of smart water use that we can all get behind. Let’s take a look at the efficiency measures that farmers are using to continue supplying half of the nation’s fruits, vegetables, and nuts while balancing responsible water use.
California’s farmers lead on water efficiency
With increased use of soil sensors that let farmers know exactly how wet the growing conditions already are, California’s farmers are avoiding over-watering their crops. No farmer would intentionally waste water: it’s bad for the crops to be over-watered, which means it’s also bad for the bottom line.
Farmers work hard to ensure responsible water use, right down to the way crops are planted. Global Positioning System (GPS) technology allows farmers to create maps of their fields, allowing more efficient planting and harvesting of crops. This means that a farmer knows down to the meter what’s going on in his or her field and how to adjust accordingly, resulting in fewer wasted drops.
With California’s farmers working hard to grow fresh, healthy food in an efficient way, you can be confident that the food you eat daily is grown responsibly. Want to know more about how much water it takes to grow your food? Visit us at farmwater.org/lunch to see how much water an average lunch uses.