Enlightened Soil Corp on Water Usage
Climate Change, Drought, and the Impact on Agriculture
According to the U.S. Geological Survey, "Defining drought may seem easy. If an area receives less rain or snow than expected over the course of a year, it can be classified as being in drought. The severity of drought increases over time depending on how long an area remains arid. However, there’s more to the story than solely if there isn’t enough rain or snow.
Droughts don’t just affect water stored in wetlands, lakes, and rivers, but also water below ground stored in aquifers and in the soil. When this groundwater gets used up, the dry ground can act like a sponge, sucking surface water straight in. The surface water-groundwater relationship gets even more complicated with snowpack. If snow melts too early in the year, water can move through the environment too quickly, causing the ground to dry up and become “thirsty” too soon. So even if there is “enough” water, the timing of the water may dictate whether an area is in a drought.
Climate change has further altered the natural pattern of droughts, making them more frequent, longer, and more severe. Since 2000, the western United States is experiencing some of the driest conditions on record. The southwestern U.S., in particular, is going through an unprecedented period of extreme drought. This will have lasting impacts on the environment and those who rely on it." (Source)
It goes without saying that protracted drought severely impacts the agricultural industry. The National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS) states that, "[d]rought can reduce both water availability and water quality necessary for productive farms, ranches, and grazing lands, resulting in significant negative direct and indirect economic impacts to the agricultural sector. Drought can also contribute to insect outbreaks, increases in wildfire and altered rates of carbon, nutrient, and water cycling—all of which can impact agricultural production, critical ecosystem functions that underpin agricultural systems, and the livelihoods and health of farming communities. (Source)
"Drought can reduce both water availability and water quality necessary for productive farms, ranches, and grazing lands, resulting in significant negative direct and indirect economic impacts to the agricultural sector." (NIDIS)
How EnSoil Algae Can Improve
Soil's Water Holding Capacity
EnSoil Algae can help reverse the catastrophic consequences of soil compaction and water runoff from decades of chemical fertilization. Fertilizers have destroyed soil biology and consequently soil structure. The outcome is a devastating reduction in water infiltration and soil's water holding capacity.
However, just a 1% gain in soil organic matter (SOM) can represent as much 20,000 gallons of additional water holding capacity per acre. Application of EnSoil Algae--especially when paired with regenerative farming practices like no till and cover cropping--can dramatically improve SOM, improving soil structure. The better the soil structure, the better water holding capacity in the soil, and the easier for plants to utilize the water.
As drought conditions lead to more strict water usage regulation, it is critical that our soils capture and hold as much rain and irrigation as possible. There is a direct return on investment in soil structure improvement!
ESC Supports Agricultural Practices that Conserve Water and Improve Soil's Water Holding Capacity
No-till or Reduced-till Practices
This is an article put out by Farmers.gov though the USDA on the benefits of limiting tillage to save water.
Soil Health Management
ESC's 2022 Field Report shows how famers and cattlemen are improving soil biology and water holding capacity with EnSoil Algae.
Updated Irrigation Systems
The USDA at Farmers.gov explain how updated irrigation systems can conserve water.
Watershed Safety & Preventing Algal Bloom
It seems paradoxical that replacing NPK with EnSoil Algae could lower the risk of algae bloom. The reason is pretty simple.
NPK is a nutrient that goes into solution when mixed with water. Because NPK dissolves, it travels with water wherever it goes. If you live in the Mississippi River Basin, some of the NPK fertilizer you apply to your lawn reaches ground water that eventually makes it to the river, and then to the Gulf of Mexico. All along the way, the NPK nutrients are "feeding" wild algae and aquatic plant life, creating massive algae blooms that are harmful to ecosystems and devastating to coastal economies.
On the other hand, C. vulgaris do not go into solution. They are living cells, a suspension of particles in water. After sitting for a few hours, the cells fall to the bottom of the bottle and only disperse uniformly with mild agitation. Because they are particulate, they do not penetrate far into the soil. In addition, migration through soil is hindered by algae’s positive charge. Soil is negatively charged, so the algae stick in place. Finally the number of algae cells applied is relatively small. Fifty-thousand cells per square foot sounds like a lot of algae, but it's actually a miniscule amount when we remember that there are many billions of bacteria per gram of soil.