James Adkins Guest Lecture

James Adkin’s lecture on agricultural irrigation taught me a lot about irrigation. Every lecture that we have heard has taught me so much about the topic. Not only did Mr. Adkins discuss irrigation in Delaware, but also irrigation around the world. I found it interesting to learn that Delaware gets around 44 inches of rainfall a year, and just corn alone requires about 22 inches of water.

I knew that humans are using the earths water at an unsustainable rate for agriculture, but I was surprised to learn about actual percentages. Mr. Adkins said that globally 15-35% of irrigation withdrawals are estimated to be unsustainable. One example he talked about was the Ogallala Aquafer. According Virginia McGuire, a USGS scientist, the “Change in storage for the 2013 to 2015 comparison period was a decline of 10.7 million acre-feet.” It is going to be important for people to be able adjust if/when this vital water supply runs out.

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