Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN) Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN)
 


Every drop counts
10 November 2006
Nicole Johnston
Mail & Guardian

Acknowledgements: FANRPAN acknowledges the Mail&Guardian as the source of this article.


Climate change is the biggest disaster of the modern age and is turning water into our most precious commodity.
- Nicole Johnston


It is predicted that by the end of the century, a barrel of water will cost more than a barrel of oil. In cities such as Dar es Salaam and Delhi, the taps often run dry and women spend hours every day looking for water to buy from tankers and vendors. In the rural areas this is often not an option, and available water must be harvested from rainfall or rivers without wasting a precious drop.

"In Africa, 90% of food is produced by farmers who rely solely on rainfall for their crops," explains Dr Hubert Savenije, professor of hydrology at the Delft University of Technology.

"We need to work with cheap, new technologies that allow them to do more with the same amount of rainfall." He says there are relatively simple things that can be done to make the lives of poor people better, such as using a "ripper" plough, which allows rainfall to penetrate more deeply into the soil.

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