As South Africa still faces drought, many farmers are relying on boreholes and groundwater reserves to help them through this dry spell. Drawing on these reserves could cause shortages in the future. Sustainability-minded farmers are now looking ahead at several methods to conserve water.
1. Drip Irrigation
Drip irrigation systems reduce evaporation by delivering water directly to a plant’s roots, having the water drip saves a lot more water compared to spray watering systems. Timers are also used to schedule watering for parts of the day when it is cooler, which further reduces water loss. If installed properly, drip irrigation can save up to eighty per cent more water than conventional irrigation systems and can increase crop yields.
2. Capturing and Storing Water
Many farmers rely on municipal water, use of which is allocated according to their water rights. To make full use of their allocation, some farmers need to capture part of this allocation. This water then needs to be stored in, ponds, dams, or water storage tanks. Large steel water tanks such as a Rainbow Tank is one of the best options due to its non-corrosive Aluzinc panles, low maintenance and food-grade liner.
3. Irrigation Scheduling
Due to the dire water situation farmers are turning to smart water management such as monitoring the weather forecast to avoid overwatering their crops. Farmers also monitor their soil and plant moisture and adapt their irrigation schedule to the conditions. Some farms water at night, helping slow down water evaporation.