Water stewardship: A sustainable perspective for agriculture

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Water, food, soil, and energy are interconnected. As one of these factors experiences pressure, the result is an increase in stress on the other factors. Increasing concerns over water quality and water quantity have been escalating for many years. As water becomes more of an issue around the world, people are becoming more aware of the need to consider alternatives in how it is used. The main consideration is the water required for human consumption. From a worldwide perspective, sufficient fresh water is available to sustain a population of about 8.3 billion, which is predicted to occur about 2030. In the U.S., a sustainable population of about 390 million people could be sustained, which will occur about 2045. In both situations, these predictions are based upon current consumption rates. In the U.S., one of the two largest consumers of freshwater is agricultural irrigation, which is similar to that consumed for power production. Without acceptance of adapting current agricultural production processes to use reclaimed water as opposed to freshwater, the quality of life we currently accept as normal is not sustainable. Too much freshwater is consumed where reclaimed water could be used. The objective of this paper is to provide an outlook on water and alternatives that will extend its sustainability for agriculture. From a world-wide perspective, currently only 2% of the treated wastewater is recycled for crop production. If that recycle rate was increased to 15%, the world-wide fresh water available would sustain the population to the year 2125.

Original languageEnglish
StatePublished - 2017
Event2017 ASABE Annual International Meeting - Spokane, United States
Duration: Jul 16 2017Jul 19 2017


Conference2017 ASABE Annual International Meeting
Country/TerritoryUnited States


  • Global water
  • Groundwater
  • Irrigation
  • Population


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