At first glance, desalination appears to be the perfect solution to the water shortage crisis in coastal regions. However, even with efficient systems, such as in Israel, desalination costs can run up to $2100 per acre-foot of water. Therefore, we must explore other alternatives. If you’re struggling to find water on your farm, getting financing for land can help you pursue desalination and it’s cost-effective alternatives.
Start with the Basics
To understand what kind of alternatives will solve the water shortage issue, we need to look at water consumption levels. In Israel, farmers use about 1.6 acre-feet of water per acre. However, this number is nearly 2 times as much for farms in California. Additionally, Israel will reuse 94% of all wastewater, compared to the 13% reused by Californians.
To find cost-effective alternatives to desalination we must first address more basic issues including:
- Capturing more stormwater
- Water-use efficiency
- Expanding water reuse
Capturing More Stormwater
Farmers can use several techniques to capture more stormwater such as rain barrels and reservoirs. If your current farm’s land is all accounted for, pursuing financing for land to build new reservoirs to store stormwater can be more cost-effective than desalination.
Using a farm loan to implement new technologies to use water more efficiently is another alternative to desalination. It is estimated that by implementing conservation methods, even on personal levels, California alone could see a 57% reduction in their annual water use. This will drastically reduce dependency on expensive techniques like desalination.
Expanding Water Reuse
Finding more ways to reuse water is yet another alternative to desalination. In fact, just recycling in select parts in California will yield an additional 1.2 million acre-feet annually, which is equal to two times the amount of water Los Angeles uses every year. Better yet, reusing water is far less expensive, only costing $590 per acre-foot.
Prepare for the Future
As aquifers throughout the country begin drying up and water levels begin dropping, a water shortage is looming. Before it reaches critical stages, it’s important to be prepared. Carefully evaluate your current operations and see where you can take steps to conserve water. Financing for land to grow your reservoir may be an option. AgAmerica’s team of expert advisors can discuss the available financing options and help you find the best one for your farm.