Posted on

Water to Food – Half Believe there is No Problem

DSCN8337

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…

Read more

Posted on

News Roundup

newsRoundup

No Food Abundance on Earth The World Agricultural Outlook Board just published how much grain farmers produced this farming season around the world. It was 2,476,040,000 metric tons. The Board also estimated how much we would use this year. It will be 2,469,120,000 metric tons. When we do the math, the world’s farmers only produced 2 lbs. of grain more per person than what the world will buy. Now, there are lots of folks who can’t buy enough. If they had money, it is likely that this year folks would eat more than farmers produced. Watch Out for Food in Cans A recent study by Stanford University suggests children may…

Read more

Posted on

Dangers of Large-Scale Farming – 7,000 People Without Running Water

droughtineastporterville

Touch the Soil News # 181 The standard economic plan – for centuries – has been one of producing something to sell focusing on the financial cost and not the environmental cost. After decades of intensive farming in California’s Central Valley, a different realization has come home to roost. The area’s water was being exported in the form of food. For decades, the area has depended upon taking more water out of the ground that was being replenished in order to sustain agricultural production. The California drought just escalated the speed at which groundwater was withdrawn in excess of replenishment. The community of East Porterville in Tulare County, California is…

Read more

Posted on

Is the Time Coming to Think Big?

BigBulb

Touch the Soil News # 129 We’ve all seen news of drought stricken third world countries. Heck, over 2 billion people today lack access to sufficient water for even personal and drinking water needs. In the U.S., pumping technology has afforded present generations the opportunity to side-step severe water shortages, for now. Hidden below the surface pumps are underground water aquifers that are dropping faster than they are recharging. California is in a fight for its life, The combination of drought and over-pumping have brought water austerity to one of the most economically developed regions in the world. And California is not alone. Ogallala Aquifer located in the central part…

Read more

Posted on

Home Gardens and Local Food – Can they Carry More Responsibility?

Eating-Locally

Touch the Soil News #114 –– includes 2 videos If there is one urban farmer trying to make a go of it, there are thousands. If there is one home gardener trying to make a difference, there are millions throughout the nation. America has millions of acres in lawns and vacant city lots (estimates are over 40 million acres). Most urbanites have access to water for gardens. Access to assets that can produce food may be a welcome buffer as national interests around the world are scurrying to control farmland and food production for their respective homeland security interests. This brings an entirely different investment mindset coming to the table.…

Read more

Posted on

What is Your Water IQ? (Part 2of 2)

Water_bottle1

Touch the Soil News #112 –– includes 1 video and 1 info graphic The following Info Graphic #1 illustrates the number of gallons of water needed to produce 1 lb. of 13 popular foods. You’ll find the answers here to the water IQ questions posed in Part I of this series. This info graphic explains simply why there is growing awareness and activism to turn the corner from eating more beef to eating less beef. It also explains growing interest in animal protein that consumes less water and much less feed – i.e. cricket protein or tilapia protein. The human race is placing more focus on water desalination – taking…

Read more

Posted on

What is Your Water IQ? (Part 1 of 2)

cow_drinking_australia_dry

Touch the Soil News #111 –– includes 1 video The Institute of Food Technologies (www.ift.org) recently published research on global and individual water use. It provides a self-view of our lives through water use and availability. At the core of water use is agriculture, using 70 percent of all water use. To this we must add water use in processing, transportation and retailing. Over the next few years, all the foods we eat will come under the water microscope. The questions will be simple – How water intensive is a particular food? How much water is available in the area a particular food grows best in? How much of a…

Read more

Posted on

Global Super Farm Boggles the Imagination

agricultural_sugar__Sudan

Touch the Soil News #108 – Includes 1 video The UAE (United Arab Emirates) has the fastest growing population in the world. The increase in people is driven primarily from immigration. It is no secret the UAE is food insecure and is looking to shore up its food security. The UAE is farmland and water challenged – totally incapable of growing its own food within its national borders. As we reported in an earlier news piece, food imports into the UAE totaled $100 billion in 2014. The UAE government estimates that imports will rise to $400 billion in 10 years. National Emblem of the U.A.E. National Emblem of the Republic…

Read more

Posted on

“Irrigation Subsidence” – Is This the Makings of a Hollywood Thriller?

landsubsidence

Touch the Soil News #106  –  includes 1 info graphic and 2 videos With California providing over 50 percent of the nation’s primary fruit and vegetables, water will be directed towards fruit and veggie production at the expense of other crops. Some of the crops getting the ax include alfalfa (hay), rice, cotton, wheat and barley. American consumers will see short-term benefits from this water allocation in that increases in the price of our fresh fruits and vegetables is forecast to be modest this year. However, in California proper, there will be around 560,000 acres fallowed (not farmed) and a loss of around 19,000 jobs. See (info graphic #1) below…

Read more

Posted on

California – Water Cuts to Agriculture

california_produce

Following the food-chain news frequently ends up in California. Unfortunately, there has been another turn of events in California’s “water-desperation” saga. In an Associated Press article today (5/15/2015) more water curtailments are in the near future for California. Up until now, California Governor Jerry Brown limited water cuts to urban cities – requiring cities to cut 25 percent of their historical usage. Sparing agriculture from water curtailments changed today as California farmers who hold rights to water that date back as far as the Gold Rush are bracing for their first state-ordered conservation in decades, as a record drought prompts some of the deepest cuts yet in the country’s most…

Read more