Essay 2

Submitted By 17brasmussen1
Words: 1269
Pages: 6

Jaydon Rasmussen
Professor Jan Hamer
English 1010
October 25, 2012
Essay 2 As most people may know, freshwater is becoming more scarce in this day and age. Aquifer water levels are dropping quickly, the climate around the world is becoming more dry and we are using more water faster than it can be replenished by rainwater. As water becomes more scarce, the cost of water will continue to rise and cause disruption in people's lives and the worlds economy. Mankind has tried to sustain and conserve freshwater as much as we can, but every solution we come up with seems to come up short. Recently scientists discovered a new, cheap way to retain water and keep it that retained. The Pepsee system of irrigation may be the missing piece to finally turn the tide of successful conservation. The Pepsee system is a low cost type of Drip Irrigation System (DIS) that uses cheap plastic tubes to water crops. The DIS is the most efficient method of irrigating. Drip Irrigation works by applying water slowly, directly to the soil. The high efficiency of drip irrigation comes from two primary factors. The first is that the water soaks into the soil before it can evaporate or run off. The second is that the water is only applied where it is needed, rather than sprayed everywhere, which for example a sprinkler system would do. A sprinkler system only uses about 70 to 80% of it's total water supply due mainly to evaporation, while irrigation systems use over 90% (Stryker). Drip Irrigation can take many forms. Mostly it is high-tech, with water pumped down pipes under pressure and sent into side pipes from which sophisticated "drippers deliver it to roots. In fact, the DIS is not a brand-new technology. At least two thousand years ago, Chinese farmers were making small holes in earthenware pitchers and burying them in the soil. They would go around their fields every few hours or so to refill the pitchers, which then simply leaked water into the root zone. This indigenous system is also known in India and parts of Africa and the Middle East (Pearce 299-304). A DIS does not require an emitter or a micro tube to place water directly to the root zone. Instead, it places the Pepsee directly to the root zone of the plants. It is called Pepsee because it is very light weight plastic pipe used for making ice candy and ice candy in some countries is called, "Pepsee". (Gary). The benefits of using DIS technology have already seen progress around the world. India has been using this technology for almost 35 years and so far, have reduced water application by nearly 70 percent and have raised crop yields by 200 percent (Jose, and Tsephal). In another study, N. R. Narayana Murthy, an Indian industrialist and software engineer, estimated the drip irrigation reduces the consumption of water by 41 percent and 59 percent in Bananas and Grapes and other types of fruit and vegetables. In the United States, aquifers are becoming more important as food production expands and drought becomes more of an issue. In Midwest regions like Kansas, farmers don't get enough fain for their crops, they depend solely on irrigation, using freshwater from the Ogallala Aquifer, which supplies about 27 percent of irrigated farmland in the U.S. and if the Ogallala gets drained, it would take about 6,000 years to recharge with rainfall (Jose, and Tsephal). If a DIS system continues to see positive results and works so efficiently, why hasn't this technology been accepted into practice world-wide, especially in certain areas of the world that are in drastic need of water? In many places such as India, Mexico, Pakistan and California, there are huge government subsidies that make the cost of water to farmers only one-tenth of the real cost of water. These farmers sometimes only pay for the electricity to run their pumps for their traditional irrigation systems. Therefore to-date there has been little or no incentive to conserve water (Pearce 299-304). These