What do we look for in the universe to see the possibility of life? Water. Water is essential for the survival of life and human beings. On our planet 97% of the water is salty and only 3% is fresh. Of this small percentage, 70% is frozen. The very little that is available is used for human consumption (12%), agriculture (69%) and industry (19%). It is worth mentioning that of human consumption, according to the World Bank, 2000 million people do not have access to drinking water services and 2300 million do not have basic hand washing facilities. 494 million do not have access to a private space to do their physiological needs and 1 out of every 4 health service spaces in the world do not have access to it. With all this, it is sad to mention that 827,000 people die each year due to poor water management; of these, 446,000 are children under 5 years of age, representing 9% of the world’s deaths of children of this age.
Of course, the need for sufficient freshwater is essential for agriculture and industry and determines the economies of countries and regions. It is predicted that by 2050 its demand will increase between 20% and 30%, and several countries could lose up to 6% of their GDP due to problems related to water scarcity. Similarly, water knows no borders and there are 310 “international” river basins in the world on which 3,000 million people depend and in 60% of which there are no regulations for their shared use, which represents a great risk.
As we can see, the agri-food sector is the one that uses the most freshwater. 3.2 billion people live in agricultural regions and suffer from droughts and mismanagement of this liquid. 78% of the poorest survive on this activity.
Can anyone imagine what they would do without access to water? Of the water used in this industry, 20% uses irrigation systems and represents 40% of production and 55% of the value. Sinaloa is part of this scheme. Unfortunately, this year, we are going through a drought crisis in Mexico and our state. A few days ago, CONAGUA declared Sinaloa to be in extreme drought; a circumstance that has not been seen in years. It is the year of “El Niño” and that predicts winter rains.
However, water is necessary now, to determine hectareages and crop dates. As a state and as an industry, we have implemented technologies such as drip irrigation, among other tools, which can help us to make its use more efficient. However, it has not been enough. There are alternatives that we have not explored in depth, such as sustainable agriculture or conservation agriculture.
The season is at risk, but we are sure that Tlaloc, the Nahuatl God of rain, is listening to our prayers.