Agricultural Irrigation with James Adkins

Due to my personal interest in sustainability and natural resources, James Adkin’s lecture on agricultural irrigation was definitely the most captivating one so far this course.  Quite honestly, I had no idea there were so many different methods of irrigation in use today. Even ones that date back as far as Babylon’s ancient gardens are still in use today in parts of China.  As Mr. Adkins walked us through the many methods of irrigation, it was clear how development in technology and our understandings of the environment have both contributed to more efficient ways of providing crops with proper water and nutrients.  Irrigation can be found in a variety of methods all over the earth; surprisingly, most irrigation occurs in Asia, in countries that oftentimes fail to meet water needs for their citizens. In fact, in India, 90% of all of their freshwater goes directly to irrigating their crops.  Meanwhile, their citizens are dying of thirst and diseases from poor water quality. It was definitely interesting to learn all of these staggering statistics and facts. Another super intriguing part of the lecture was about California’s water war. The idea that the farmers and agricultural industry are in a battle with the humongous population of California cities for the water source that comes off the Sierras is crazy to think about.  California agriculture has no chance of winning this battle, so they struggle for other sources to maintain their yields. Overall, this lecture was one that kept my attention from start to finish, and certainly peaked my interest in water quality, sources, and sustainability.

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