Today is the beginning of the UN’s Decade for Water, which will run until World Water Day on 22 March 2028. The Decade is designed to help put a greater focus on water and its importance for people and the planet.
Water: Critical For Sustainable Development
Water is critical for sustainable development, yet millions of people still do not have access to safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene, and water scarcity and pollution are being exacerbated by urbanization, population growth, desertification, drought and climate change. Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6 aims to ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.
The new Decade will focus on the sustainable development and the integrated management of water resources to achieve social, economic and environmental objectives.
How Organic Agriculture Can Help
Farmers around the world suffer in times of drought. Those who apply organic farming practices are not as severely affected as they work with techniques such as crop rotations that allocate more carbon below ground. Carbon-rich soils are like sponges absorbing water during floods and releasing it during drought.
Organic Agriculture Has Many Benefits For Water, Including:
- Improved water infiltration and retention capacity through high levels of organic matter and permanent soil cover, such as cover crops or mulch, which substantially reduce the amount of water needed for irrigation.
- Reduced surface and groundwater consumption and subsequent soil salinization through increased water retention capacity, reduction of water evaporation, and the creation of suitable microclimates in dry areas through diversified organic agroforestry systems that can attract and retain atmospheric humidity.
- Reduced ground and surface water contamination by refraining from the use of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers, thereby protecting the little water available in dry areas from pesticide contamination and nitrate and phosphate leaching.