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Water Tremor Creates a Food Tremor

Touch the Soil News #1244 (Feature photo – Typical Lawns – By Veracious Rey at the English language Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=13264796) Most often, access to land has been the determining factor in urban agriculture or home gardening. However, growing in scarcity over the past 30 years has been access to fresh, uncontaminated water. In rather obscure national news, the city of Columbia, Missouri recently updated and increased charges for water. Local community gardens have come forth asking for exemptions (which may not happen) as the water costs go beyond their budgets. The city estimates that the average household in Columbia uses about 550 cubic feet (4,100 gallons) of…

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Can We Feed the World if We Can’t Water Our Crops?

Touch the Soil News #1075 (Feature photo – Earth’s Water – public domain) While the move towards controlled environment agriculture boasts that it uses 90 percent less water than conventional agriculture there is one thing to keep in mind. Highly efficient hydroponic farming is suited best for lettuces and greens. The bulk of the world’s calories come from other things like potatoes, fruits, nuts, grains, rice, soybeans, corn and meat animals that are not easy (or possible) to convert to extremely low water use. Recently, Agritecture published an ominous article on agricultural water consumption that far exceeds recharge. You can read the full article here: http://www.agri-tecture.com/ The question one must…

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L.A.’s Oldest Community Garden – In the Throes of Water Wars

Touch the Soil News #1034 (Feature photo – City of Los Angeles (a metro of 13 million people) CCA SA. 4.0 International) Called the San Pedro Mini Farms, the place used to be host to over six acres of plots. The remaining 250 plots (over 4 acres) are connected by a maze of trails, pipes and hoses. Given the warm climate, the garden produces a wide diversity of fruits and vegetables. As the years passed, the availability of water continued to decline. And it’s not just about water availability, but water contamination. Now some gardeners are cannibalizing each other’s water. It is an important story that all gardeners should take…

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Water to Food – Half Believe there is No Problem

Touch the Soil News #683 It is true, approximately 70 percent of the world’s fresh water use goes to producing food. Much of that water comes from wells (underground pumping). If you’ve been following trends, wells across America have to be drilled deeper and deeper and underground resources are being pumped faster than replenishment – popularly called overdrafting. The U.S. Geological Service (USGS) calls it “groundwater depletion”. The USGS reveals that 50 percent of the American population gets its drinking water (and water for food gardens) from groundwater wells. Agriculture uses about 50 billion gallons from groundwater wells each day. The USGS reports that virtually every underground aquifer in the…

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