miércoles, 9 de junio de 2010
Europe: To acheive water sustainable use
European Environment Agency informs in a recent published article (http://www.eea.europa.eu/articles/the-water-we-eat):
"Irrigated agriculture is central to local and national economies in parts of Europe. In some areas, ceasing irrigation could lead to land abandonment and severe economic hardship. Agricultural water use must therefore be made more efficient not only to ensure enough water for irrigation but also for local people, a healthy environment and other economic sectors.
Water pricing represents the core mechanism to incentivise levels of water use that balance society's economic, environmental and social goals. Research demonstrates that if prices reflect true costs, illegal extraction is effectively policed, and water is paid for by volume then farmers will reduce irrigation or adopt measures to improve water efficiency. National and EU subsidies can provide additional inducements to adopt water saving techniques.
Once the incentives are in place, farmers can choose from a variety of technologies, practices and crops to reduce water use. Governments again have a crucial role to play here, providing information, advice and education to ensure that farmers are aware of the options, and supporting further research. Particular focus should go on ensuring that the introduction of energy crops to meet biofuels targets serves to reduce agricultural water demand, rather than increasing it.
Finally, after efforts to reduce demand have been exploited, farms can also take advantage of opportunities to draw on alternative supplies. In Cyprus and Spain, for example, treated wastewater has been used to irrigate crops with encouraging results.