green water

Remember the green water

Thursday, August 20th, 2009 | Nature @ Your Service | No Comments

You need approximately 20-50 liters (5-13 gallons) of water per day to drink and for hygiene. For this you use blue water that is found in lakes, rivers and ground water aquifers. But this is not the whole story. To produce the food you eat during one single day you need another 3500 liters (925 gallons) of water. This water is necessary for plants to convert carbon dioxide into oxygen and carbohydrates, meaning the oxygen we breathe and the sugar we and our cattle live on. Today 70 per cent of the blue water that we use is needed for irrigation, causing water stress for both humans and nature. At the same time increasing numbers of people will need this water for their basic needs. Meanwhile there is an untapped potential of green water. This green water is rainwater that is absorbed by herbs, grasses, shrubs, trees and crops. The resource provided by green water is seldom recognized when water issues are discussed. Its potential can be tapped by using less water intensive crops and by sheltering plant roots during dry periods. Including green water in both water management systems as well as in agriculture is one main approach to hunger alleviation and adapting for the future.

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