rivers and water efficiency
When we think about farming and
agriculture we cannot help but think of the things that farming
needs – land, machinery, manpower, water and the weather.
These are just some of the important things that farming requires,
you will probably be able to think of some more.
Cattle and rainwater
All of these factors are important
but we are going to consider the weather and in particular rainfall.
The rainfall in Cornwall and the south west region in general is
one of the highest in Britain. Have a look at the rainfall data
it is not just the total amount of rain falling in a year that is
important, but how often and when it falls. We need to consider
water availability. There may be times, and there certainly have
been times over the past few years, when rain has not fallen for
weeks at a time. This lack of rain and therefore water to feed animals,
water crops and maintain hygiene standards on a farm can present
problems. So trying to be as water efficient as possible is important
We use water every day of our
lives. Most of the water we use comes out of a tap and we probably
never give it a second thought. In this way we demand water and
at times when there has been low rainfall, the places where water
is taken from, like reservoirs and rivers, can be in danger of drying
up. As can be seen in ‘Death of a River’ (E06)
allowing rivers to dry up can be very damaging to wildlife.
By being more water efficient,
everyone, including farmers can help to safeguard rivers and the
wildlife that is endangered when water levels become very low.
Have a look at the ‘The
Water Save Challenge’ for agriculture (E03a)
and see how farmers can help to be more water efficient and save
water. If you live on a farm you might like to have a go at doing
the challenge for your farm.