Let’s talk organic soil for farming solving water issues. For the face of the climate crisis, the world is grappling with extreme weather events. For that’s including long-lasting heatwaves. Also droughts, intense storms, heavy rain, and floods. As a result, the scarcity or surplus of water has become a pressing concern. Southern European countries like Spain, Portugal, Italy, and France. They have already been experiencing an unusual lack of rainfall. All while many Northern European regions have witnessed an unprecedented increase in precipitation. Our weather patterns are clearly out of balance. That’s highlighting the need to pay more attention to the quality and availability of water. Organic farming, however, offers a glimmer of hope. Especially by actively protecting, cleaning, and storing water where it is needed.
The Importance of Soil Water Storage
The natural water cycle, which involves the evaporation of water from oceans, rivers, and lakes. For its condensation and eventual return as rainfall. I mean relies on the ability of soils to absorb and store water. With the increasing irregularity of rainfalls due to climate change. Now it has become more crucial than ever for soils to retain water effectively. Unfortunately, conventional farming practices have undermined the importance of healthy soils. Moreover they have compromised their fertility and water storage capacity. Soils, which naturally provide nutrients to plants while capturing CO2 and water. For they been treated as mere platforms for chemical fertilizers and toxic pesticides.
“Conventional agriculture has long been neglecting the importance of healthy soils and impaired their fertility and ability to store water.”
The Role of Sponge Soils in Extreme Weather Conditions
In times of water scarcity or surplus. Now the value of healthy soils capable of handling extreme weather patterns cannot be overstated. Sponge soils, which facilitate the percolation of rainwater while biologically cleansing it. For they are particularly well-suited for this purpose. The health of soil can be assessed by examining its structure. Therefore, sponge soils are characterized by numerous cavities. In addition to irregular particles, and also efficient drainage. A simple test involves digging a hole in the soil. Then filling it with water. Now start observing how quickly it disappears. The faster the water drains, the healthier the soil. Manfred Modinger, a chartered engineer and chairman of the German quality community for organic mineral water, “Bio-Mineralwasser,” emphasizes the significance of sponge soils in water management.
Organic Farming: A Natural Solution for Water Protection
For Modinger and his colleagues, water is not merely a liquid. Because is the basis of life and also a product of our soils. They believe that the best way to safeguard water is by avoiding pollution and storing it in our soils, which is precisely what organic farming promotes. Since 2017, Modinger’s organization has been raising awareness about the deteriorating quality of German ground and tap water, emphasizing the urgent need for comprehensive monitoring. In this regard, organic farming emerges as the most sustainable approach to preserving water resources. By eschewing synthetic pesticides and artificial fertilizers, organic farmers support soil fertility through practices such as mulching, composting, crop rotation, and mixed cultivation. This approach not only prevents soil pollution and degradation but also enables the natural capture and purification of water.
Making Organic Farming Mandatory in Water Catchment Areas
Although Modinger has been advocating for the benefits of organic agriculture in water conservation for years, only a meager ten percent of farmland in Germany is currently cultivated organically. He believes that there is still a long way to go and suggests that organic farming should be mandatory in water catchment areas. To substantiate his claims and demonstrate the economic viability of organic agriculture as a solution to the water crisis, Modinger and his colleagues have developed a powerful communication tool: the organic water meter. This tool quantifies the annual amount of water protected by organic farming in Germany, highlighting the tangible benefits of this agricultural approach. In 2021 alone, organic farming saved an impressive 2.3 billion cubic meters of water.
“The water meter shows very clearly that state support for organic farming is justified. Because we all benefit from it.”
The Organic Water Meter: Validating the Water Benefits of Organic Farming
The organic water meter calculates the water-saving potential of organic farming based on factors such as annual rainfall, the area under organic cultivation, and the average rate of rainwater infiltration into the soil. This infiltration rate measures the soil’s capacity to absorb water within a given timeframe. Modinger points out that water treatment is a costly process, with an average cost of about 65 cents per cubic meter for removing nitrates, pesticides, and their byproducts from water. Organic fields, however, eliminate the need for these expenses when rainwater falls on non-toxic, humus-rich soils. In 2021, every hectare of organic farmland in Germany saved approximately 837 Euros in water treatment costs, underscoring the economic advantages of organic farming. The organic water meter serves as further evidence that organic agriculture is not only an environmentally friendly approach but also a financially sound investment.
Water is a precious resource that sustains all forms of life on Earth. The current climate crisis has underscored the urgent need to protect, clean, and store water effectively. Organic farming offers a sustainable solution by prioritizing soil health and fertility, thereby enabling the natural capture and purification of water. By refraining from harmful chemicals and embracing practices such as mulching, composting, and crop rotation, organic farmers play a vital role in safeguarding our water resources. The organic water meter serves as a powerful tool, quantifying the substantial amount of water saved through organic farming and highlighting the economic benefits of this agricultural approach. As we navigate the challenges posed by climate change, organic agriculture emerges as a practical and effective way to ensure the availability and quality of water for generations to come.
Author: Seth Leitman
Bio Eco Actual, International Organic Newspaper, Source