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Agricultural activity uses 77% of all available water

 

Everytime the wáter subject in Mexico is mentioned, it is complex and delicate; so much so that it has been declared a national security issue. The use of water is distributed disproportionately, since the agricultural activity consumes 77% of the total water available, the remaining 23% is distributed in other activities as public sector and industry, according to data from the National Water Commission (CONAGUA).

One of the main tasks of CONAGUA is to make more efficient the use of water in the agricultural fields. It is estimated that between 15% and 50% of extracted wáter used for hazardous agriculture reaches cultivated areas and most of it is lost during conduction or evaporation before being taken advantage of by the plant.

Some of this water returns to watercourses, but its quality is degraded by pollutants such as pesticides, fertilizers and salts that spurge through the soil.

The agency points out that current efforts are being made to increase water efficiency through modern pressurized irrigation systems. The modernization of irrigation will increase water productivity by 2.8% per year, measured in kilograms of food or fiber per cubic meter of water used in the various irrigations.

These irrigation technification systems save nearly one billion cubic meters of water in Mexico. In 2016 alone, around 101 thousand 556 hectares were technified, which allowed reaching more than 428 thousand hectares.

That is why the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fish and Food (SAGARPA) is focusing efforts to achieve the technification of one million hectares, a goal that was proposed to be reached in 2018.

To date, the technified surface at the national level represents about 30 percent of the 22 million hectares planted in the country, placing Mexico in the sixth position worldwide in this area and that has allowed consolidation of a more productive and sustainable field.

The technical systems that SAGARPA implements in support of the agricultural fields are sprinkler irrigation, central pivots, traveler cannons, fixed spray and portable spraying. As well as dripping, micro sprinkler, multi-latches, mixed systems, valves and agricultural drainage.

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