water conservation diaries: it’s about making more food

Visiting a farm recently, I was reminded that business people for whom water is an input think about water conservation differently than city folk like me. For a given amount of water available, the farmer wants to grow and sell as much food as possible. So it should not be surprising to see water conservation technology push yields up rather than pushing water consumption down. Here’s Randy Fiorini, California farmer and one of that state’s water management public intellectuals:

Computer-aided moisture monitoring and irrigation scheduling, conversion from flood and furrow methods to microsprinkler and drip systems are now standard on most row crop, tree and vine operations. This application of modern technology has resulted in more than just water savings. Yields for many crops have doubled because of more efficient methods of irrigation.