With population growth, weather unpredictability, and diminishing fresh water resources, efforts are under way and expanding to make sure that water is captured and used more efficiently in every aspect of our lives. Water is also a political issue that is being more urgently brought forward around the world. Agricultural production is one of the biggest users of water and is always being scrutinized by both government and the public.
Agriculture crop production is dependent on water to ensure the success of crops. With climate change, we are seeing devastating results in developing countries who are impacted from droughts and who cannot afford modern irrigation techniques to farming. No crops mean no food, widespread famine and disease.
In developed countries, irrigation techniques allow for pumps to draw water from hundreds to thousands of feet unfortunately these ground water resources are shrinking rapidly. Farmers are looking for other ways to irrigate from for they realize this resource is not going to be around for many more years.
Some farmers will draw water from nearby fresh water rivers, lakes to feed their crops if they are lucky enough to have their property bordering on such water resources. In many parts of the world including Canada, U.S., Europe, Africa and India, farmers collect and capture water into dugouts during periods of rain fall so that they can irrigate from these water sources as needed during growing season. Other areas are able to draw water into these ponds/dugouts from government controlled canals or rivers. These canals are metered and regulated. This form of watering crops is called surface irrigation and makes up a major percentage of farm production. It is growing all the time and is a key source of irrigation now and into the future as ground water resources diminish.
Surface water needs to be kept clean and healthy to have the most beneficial impact for a farmer on their crops. If this water becomes stagnant it can have the following negative impacts:
One of the most common contributors to poor water quality is nutrient pollution, which is plaguing farmers irrigation water around the world. Nutrient pollution is defined as excess phosphate and nitrates that run off into bodies of water. These nutrients are in fertilizers and other run off matter such as animal waste, sewage, detergents etc. These nutrients often serve a purpose on land but can wreak havoc in the water. For example, common ingredients in crop fertilizers are nitrogen and phosphorus, but when these nutrients seep through the soil and into the water with crop runoff from irrigation it can also accelerate weed and algae growth in the water. For more information on nutrient pollution click HERE.
Traditionally in many areas of the world farmers would treat this water with a copper sulphate based product. Killing off the algae and having it sink to the bottom of the water. However, this approach is now being looked at in more detail and questioned for its effectiveness.
When algae and weeds are treated with a chemical based product that has toxic properties, vegetation sinks to the bottom of the water when it dies. This further complicates an already oxygen deprived environment by adding more nutrients. The water becomes more stagnated, as a layer of decaying matter builds up at the bottom of the pond, and the algae and weeds soon reappear and the unhealthy cycle starts all over again.
The best approach to surface water management is a natural approach. This approach is sustainable, safe for people and the environment. It also ensures the health of all who come in contact with the water.
There are 3 main components to a Natural Pond Management
1) Aeration - providing oxygen to the water. Increased oxygen levels assist in decomposing organic matter and reducing nutrient load. There are several types of pond aeration systems on the market. The most effective is bottom up aeration. Which means the oxygen is being introduced at the bottom of the dugout/pond. The deeper you go the more efficient the transfer of oxygen. Bottom up aeration is 8-10X more effective than surface aeration. You can read all about the difference between bottom up aeration and surface aeration HERE.
2) With increased oxygen levels, you can now introduce select bacteria into the surface water that targets nutrient pollution. When you reduce the food source of algae and weeds you reduce the growth of the unwanted aquatic vegetation. Its extremely important for the health of our fresh water resources to reduce nutrient load and reduce usage of these products that cause nutrient pollution.
3) Instead of killing off unwanted aquatic vegetation consider removing it from your water resource. There are excellent tools that are specifically designed to remove this vegetation. As you embark on a natural approach to pond care the unwanted aquatic vegetation eventually disappears for the water is clean and healthy and will not support the growth of these plants. Clean and clear water will also reduce the growth of insects and non-beneficial bacteria in the body of water.
Nature’s Pond Powered by Koenders Water Solutions Inc has developed a proven 3 step process for Natural Pond Care. They have become a world leader in this process with close to 100,000 customers in 23 countries. This is a great example of companies who are helping farmers deal with the changing climate and water resources to ensure healthy and safe alternatives to treating water in a proven and effective way.
Our All-in-One Pond Conditioner is simply the most effective, natural product on the market for achieving clean, clear, and healthy water.
Increase oxygen levels with Bottom-Up Aeration. It's a safe, natural and sustainable way to keep your pond or lake healthy and balanced.
Introducing Nature's Pond Cutter 'N' Rake, a 3-in-1 tool that cuts weeds and pulls and rakes them out of your water for good.