Visiting Lecturer Urges Changes in Water Use

Tuesday, 25 March, 2008

BSP_9895editBirdsall-Dreiss lecturer Dr Bridget Scanlon has called for changes to agriculture in semi-arid regions like to preserve our scarce water resources and make primary production more sustainable.

Dr Scanlon – the Senior Research Scientist in the Bureau of Economic Geology at the Jackson School of Geosciences, attached to the University of Texas in Austin – has set five priorities to improve the sustainability of semi-arid farming.

  • Switching irrigation farming to regions with higher humidity to increase its sustainability
  • Government subsidies and grants to encourage rain-fed agriculture rather than irrigated farming
  • New product labeling so consumers can identify food produced by irrigated farming
  • More planting of trees among crops to reduce salinity
  • Lifestyle changes to reduce consumption of meat and increase consumption of vegetables and cereals, which require much less water to produce

She points out that irrigation was responsible for 90 per cent of the consumption of global fresh water resources in the 20th century, but represented only 40 per cent of global food production. An equation she says clearly doesn’t balance. But she has warned that ’s salinity levels are a significant limitation on the expansion of rain-fed agriculture under the current conditions.

Dr Scanlon also says one of the most effective ways of saving water is for consumers to eat less meat and more vegetables and cereals – producing one kilogram of bovine meat takes around 13,500 litres of water, the same quantity of vegetables takes around 150 litres of water, while a kilo of cereal uses around 1000 litres of water.

“Rather than taking shorter showers, we all could save much more water by switching from meat to a vegetable- and cereal-based diet,” Dr Scanlon says.

Dr Scanlon staged lectures in Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne, Canberra and Sydney while she was in Ausrealia, all of which were well attended by audiences with diverse industry and government backgrounds. Dr Scanlon also attracted considerable media attention, with radio interviews in Sydney, Adelaide, Canberra and across the ABC’s regional radio network.

Download Dr Scanlon’s presentation here.

TAGS:   /

Visiting Lecturer Urges Changes in Water Use

Jackson School of Geosciences, The University of Texas at Austin, 23rd, Austin, TX 78759, USA

Upcoming Short Courses

Online Course: Modelling Structures in HEC-RAS - June 2019

Thursday, 13 June, 2019

Online Course: Foundations of Water Stewardship

Online: Two sessions of three hours
Tuesday, 18 June, 2019

Short Course: RAS across America

Tuesday, 18 June, 2019

Webinar: Building farm level capacities in irrigation water management

Online
Wednesday, 26 June, 2019

Online Course: Uncertainty Analysis in Groundwater Modelling - July

Online
Thursday, 4 July, 2019

Webinar: How wrong is your flood model?

Online
Wednesday, 10 July, 2019

Online Course 1: MAR global examples, drivers and policies

Online
Tuesday, 23 July, 2019

Online Course 2: Building a MAR project

Online
Tuesday, 30 July, 2019

Short Course: Australian Groundwater School

Sydney, NSW
Monday, 5 August, 2019

Online Course 3: Managing a MAR project

Online
Tuesday, 6 August, 2019

Webinar: Groundwater Modelling with Modflow

Online
Wednesday, 14 August, 2019

Webinar: Too hard for Einstein: Sediment Transport and Mobile Bed Hydraulics

Online
Thursday, 22 August, 2019

Online Course: 1D Water Modelling with HEC-RAS - September 2019

Thursday, 5 September, 2019

Webinar: State and fate of the Hindu Kush Himalaya water resources

Online
Wednesday, 11 September, 2019

Webinar: Are your pumps about to fail?

Wednesday, 18 September, 2019

Webinar: Water reform planning - a ‘wicked problem’

Online
Wednesday, 25 September, 2019

Webinar: Modelling with HEC-HMS

Wednesday, 2 October, 2019

Webinar: Advancing groundwater-dependent ecosystem detection using radar

Online
Wednesday, 9 October, 2019

Online Course: 2D Water Modelling with HEC-RAS - October 2019

Thursday, 24 October, 2019

Online Course: HEC-HMS Modelling

Thursday, 7 November, 2019

Short Course: Australian Groundwater School and Field Trip

Adelaide, SA
Monday, 11 November, 2019

Online Course: 2D Flood Modelling Using TUFLOW

Tuesday, 12 November, 2019

Online Course: Dam Breach Modelling with HEC-RAS

Tuesday, 26 November, 2019