Many of the applications mentioned in Part 1 of this series can be as relevant to agriculture as they are to domestic water usage. Potential water sources include treated sewage and greywater, high-level brackish groundwater where available, rainwater harvesting, and maintaining balanced water levels with available sources.
In a region with sparse or erratic rainfall, consideration could be given to storing harvested groundwater in deep aquifers, particularly for larger farms. However, this must be done with suitable water quality controls to prevent aquifer pollution and to ensure that water extracted for irrigation during drier periods doesn't adversely impact the aquifers.
At the irrigation level, emphasis should be placed on modernising existing large-scale irrigation systems as a crucial step in reducing water loss and promoting sustainable agricultural practices. Through technology utilisation, water wastage can be significantly minimised, leading to more efficient use of precious water resources during transmission and localised farm operations.
Measures such as reducing seepage in canal systems, combined with improved on-farm water management strategies, provide additional avenues for resource conservation. Utilising automated canal systems to distribute water across catchments, for example, proves to be an effective means of conserving scarce resources, a practice already implemented in various global regions. These systems incorporate sensors, pumping mechanisms, level controls, and other advanced technologies to monitor water levels and redirect water to areas in need.
Early warning systems are vital for helping farmers better prepare and adapt to regional droughts. By providing farmers with near real-time data on soil moisture, rainfall, and water allocations, they can make informed decisions about planting strategies in response to changing weather conditions.
To complement this, proper support, both economic and educational, should be extended to farmers. This assistance can aid them in making necessary changes to their farming practices, whether by enhancing their water-related assets, constructing new ones, or simply gaining a better understanding of their crops' water demands or simply gaining a better understanding of their crops' water demands.