New Agriculturist logo
This monthPoints of viewPerspectiveFocus on . . .In printNews briefPicture featureIn conferenceDevelopmentsCountry profileDownload sectionsSearch the New AgriculturistBack issues

Focus on . . . Water

Prized above all else when life and livelihoods are threatened by its absence, but ignored, abused and over-exploited when it appears to be plentiful, water should be in everyone's thoughts as well as on everyone's lips. International attention is being caught and channelled into fears of a water-short world but in this edition of New Agriculturist, we take a more positive look at water. This is not about water saving technology nor about how to grow more with less - these are subjects for future editions. Here we see how better use is being made of natural floodwaters, of seawater and fresh monsoon rain, of groundwater aquifers and even surface drainage water that would otherwise be wasted. All can provide a more productive farming and/or fishing future if protected from abuse - and used wisely.

Making the most of the Mekong

Mighty, murky and magnificent, the Mekong is one of the top ten rivers of the world. Sixty million people depend directly upon this river for their livelihoods and perhaps as many as 300 million depend upon what is produced within the Mekong River basin...

Tracing the paths of pollution

The aquifers of Costa Rica's Central Valley supply fresh water to over one million people, more than 25% of the national population. But these underground reservoirs are, like many groundwater reserves across the globe, in danger...

Floating the idea of fish

Seasonal floodwaters rocked the cradle of civilisation encouraging men, or perhaps women, to make their first attempts at agricultural development. Countless seasons later, we are still attempting to make the most of natural floodwater...

Waste not want not

Use of outflows from urban sewage systems as a source of irrigation water is both extremely common, and in some countries, notably China, a very long-established practice.However, the use of urban wastewater for irrigation is not without danger...

East Kolkata Wetlands

One of the largest systems in the world for making use of urban wastewater is on the eastern edge of Kolkata (Calcutta), India. Here research is attempting to show municipal authorities, NGOs, development agencies, and others connected with the Wetlands, just how valuable these city waters are and what could be done to improve their use...

Managing the flood

Damming of large rivers, has major impacts on downstream floodplains. In addressing the problems, some dam authorities have attempted to simulate the effects of the annual rains, by deliberately releasing greater amounts of water during the normal flooding period...

Some like it salty, some like it not

Most water resources can be clearly defined as saline or fresh, and that is how they remain year in and year out. Estuaries and deltas, and the land through which they flow, may change according to season. The people who live and farm in these regions learn to make the best of it, but most would be much better off if the salinity could be controlled. Or would they..?

Back to top