water scarcity

Water Scarcity

I: Introduction to Water Scarcity

Water scarcity becomes a serious problem for across the globe as around 700 million people in 43 countries suffered from water shortage problem. It is estimated that by 2025, approx. 1.8 billion people will be living with absolute water scarcity.

This problem occurs with the two converging phenomena which is growing freshwater use and depletion of usable freshwater resources. However, it is found that water scarcity can be result of two mechanisms such as physical and economic water scarcity where physical water scarcity occurs with the inadequate natural water resources to supply a region demand (Shaddad, 2017).

Moreover, the economic water scarcity results from poor management of sufficient available water resources. Thus, these areas tend to be major area which gives rise to the problem of water scarcity at global level.

In concern to New Zealand, Becken (2014) identified that water pollution become a major problem behind the country failing to meet the water needs of regions.

Tourism is the major sources of revenue for NZ and country is also responsible for the large employment. So this give rise to the population growth and it result in un-fulfilment of water demand.

Besides that, increasing level of population and industries also result in access waste that affect the air and water. The high density of polluted water fails to address the water needs of general public.

Likewise, August 2016, more than 5,000 people fell sick with gastrointestinal illness in Havelock North due to drinking water which contaminates poisoning. This event also results in death of three residents.

Urbanisation and drainage of wetlands and damming or modification of rivers etc, all place pressure on fresh water bodies around the globe. However, the NZ market currently faces the problem of water to a large extent.

According to Daugbjerg (2018), Dairy and agricultural sector also consider as a contributors to NZ GDP and there has been significant growth in both industries from past time.

Dairy products includes NZ largest export goods sector which account more than one in four goods export dollars. But with the growing agriculture industries, they are placing greater strain over the country water supply and raise the concern about quality of NZ water.

Furthermore, land use of Farmland is the contribution to economy but the excessive capture of land for agriculture use tends to become a cause for the water scarcity. Zonderland-Thomassen et al. (2014) estimated that amount of nitrogen leached from agricultural land and it increased by 29%.

Nitrate levels in NZ

water scarcity

(Sources: Foxcoft, 2017)

This graph clearly presented that increased cattle farming in NZ led to more manure and this give rise to nitrate level in water consumption. However, Nitrogen and Phosphorus are major two nutrients causing most concern as these create the inhospitable environment for plant and animal species (Huang et al., 2014).

However, high nitrate-nitrogen concentrations can also make water unsafe to drink which result in improper supplies of fresh drinking water to people of NZ.

In addition to this study, the concentration of nitrate-nitrogen is also growing 18 times in urban sites as compared to native sites (Cooper et al., 2013). Alongside, NZ found increased in E coli, Escherichia coli in fresh water sources as a result of growth in farmland.

II: Changes Proposed

There are various changes that have been done in NZ under agriculture sector in the form of improve the water quality and supplies adequate water to different region of NZ. This is done through making government rid of subsidies for farmers (Daugbjerg and Swinbank, 2012).

It is found that NZ provide subsidies to farmers for performing the agricultural work with more efficiency as NZ major sources of income tend to be agriculture and dairy product. But the increased agricultural production becomes a concern area for water.

In regards to this, government has taken drastic action by clear the subsidiary policy. This helps the economy to reduce the component of nitrate-nitrogen in water. It results in providing more fresh water to NZ people (Siegel, 2016).

Moreover, Government also provided the “exit grant” to farmers who wanted to leave their jobs amounting to about two-third of their previous annual income. However, this step also raises the price of land and due to which farmer unable to perform farming practice in large area.

This helps to reduce the water pollution problem to some extent. Therefore, removing the government assistance is the major step of NZ in regards to bring change in water scarcity problem.

The economy-focused solution s have been proposed in the form of Ruataniwha water storage scheme which aim is to storage of water into dam in order to achieve long-term sustainable water supply solution for Central Hawke’s Bay (Lenzen et al., 2013).

Moreover, the dam provided 600 million NZ dollar and help farmer to diversify the land for other uses. But this project is criticised by the people by stating that Ruataniwha project the farmers for performing more agriculture work so this increased number of farms lead to fertilisers and cow-urine deposits into the Tukituki River.

It declines the number of freshwater fish species. That’s why, the project which promote the farming practice are ridding off by the government.

At the same time, the regulations are made for use of pesticide and use of water for farming through imposed penalties and conditions place on financial support to farmers.

Moreover, community-based approaches solution is followed by making farmer and local stakeholders ware about the environmental issues which occurring with the agricultural areas.

Alongside, economic instrument is also taken by making farmers to adopt practices which minimise environmental impacts and offer non-commodity outputs beyond those required by existing regulation. Likewise, Tariffs are used to internalise environmental costs.

Thus, these practices are adopted by the NZ government for improving the water quality in context to agriculture sector. The action of removing the subsidiary is the best way to make a control over the water scarcity problem.

Moreover, the action of government towards the declining much agricultural practise also leave a positive impact on the water quality. So it can be stated that drastic proposed solution somewhere help NZ to secure fresh water but still this problem is not solved to a large extent.

III: Barriers to change the Agriculture Industry in New Zealand

In the views of Goldson et al. (2015), climate change is the major barrier for agriculture industry in NZ as frequent change in climate give rise high water demand, limiting crop productivity and reducing water availability in areas where irrigation is most needed.

Thus, the climate change affects the farmers in regards to perform best farming practices. Moreover, government policy related to remove the subsidiary for farmer in term to controlling the problem of water scarcity. This area also create barrier for them in the form of unavailability of land and necessary farming method like pesticides for development of best farming.

Moreover, lack of adequacy of water majorly hit the agriculture of NZ in the form of incapable to perform best farming. It somewhere affects the economy on an adverse manner.

However, Morris and Kenyon (2014) found that lack of clear policies on new technology also affects the agricultural sector in the form of unfamiliar about the new agriculture practice and this give rise to the traditional farming practice which include high cost investment and large wastage.

Thus, unclear direction of government towards sustainable farming technique is the major barrier due to which farmer fails to perform better and help to secure fresh water.

Furthermore, increased legal requirements on agriculture areas put pressure on farmers in regards that new demand fulfilment requires time, skill and paperwork which add workload on farmers.

In current scenario, the new farmer face financial barriers as NZ government take back the financial assistance services for solving the problem of water scarcity. This area affects the farmers as farm equipment, quota, property and livestock are so expensive that new farm operator goes out of production.

So the lack of financial assistances in NZ becomes the major barrier (Bullock, 2012). Moreover, high tax rate for the land create barrier for farmers to hold big land and perform the farming practice. This uneven tax system becomes the major issue for farmers to successfully perform the agricultural work.

In respect to over-population in NZ market affect food and water supplies as continuous growing population means that they will need to produce more food but due to presences of certain factors that may affect the agriculture firm effectiveness to supplies food.

These factors are the changing weather, inadequate water due to which crops are not growing well. Besides that, lack of human resources availability is the new barrier that agriculture firm face as current generation people don’t have an interest in the agricultural sector.

This creates an issue for industries to find the skilled workforces for the firms (Foo et al., 2012). Thus, improper knowledge about the agricultural practice is the main issue for the agricultural firm to get achieve the quality crop and food.

Lastly, the resolving conflicts between agriculture and natural environment are another area as agriculture practice has an inverse relationship with natural environment. It means that agriculture area give rise to the affect of environment in the form of air & water pollution. It leads to unavailability of fresh water.

IV: Overcoming of Barriers

There are various ways that can help agricultural industries to overcome different barriers. However, problem related to occurrences of waste from agriculture can be sort through employ sustainable agriculture. This can be achieved through include sustainable agriculture method in the form of crop rotation and soil enhancement (Teklewold et al., 2013).

The crop rotation technique aim is to avoid the consequences that come with planting the same crops in same soil for year in row. This helps to tackle the problem of pest and rotation break reprocessing of pests and replenish plant nutrient. However, soil enrichment demand for making balances use of pesticide and leaving crop residue in the field after harvests etc. This helps to achieve the best soil.

Addition, the solution of reuse the treated wastewater for food production is also considered as a best way to control the water pollution from agricultural activities. Alongside, the more efficient use of water with food value chain contributes good potential for water saving, reduction of water pollution and producing better quality food etc (Ndiritu et al., 2014).

Moreover, the problem of over-population can be solved by the agricultural firm through adopt the collaboration strategy where NZ farmer needs to make partnership with other farming firm in international market for catering the needs of large population.

This technique could bring various benefits in the way to not indulge in developing more farming practice as agriculture technique results in the environmental problem. So in that case, the partnership strategy proves to be more efficient for getting the product from different country without increasing farming practices.

This helps the country to make more control over the problem of water-scarcity. Besides that, NZ agriculture farmers can also solve the problem of low financial assistances as partnership strategy allows to sharing the financial burden with other organisation. It results in proper performing of farming techniques.

In regards to implement the technology in agriculture sector, there is require to analyse where they stand with respect to evolving technology and then support the agriculture community in providing accessible, accurate information so that healthy food can be developed.

At the same time, the less attraction of young people towards the agricultural sector can be gained through develop proper structure and personal growth for individuals (Ding et al., 2013). The current generation always want to employ in that firm which supports their personal development.

So the attractive offer can help the agriculture sector to procure talent into the industry. Moreover, the proper conduct of training is another area which supports the involvement of skilled workforces into the agriculture sector.

However, the problem of water scarcity can be solved in NZ by the agriculture firm through use of less pesticide and adopt advanced technology for supporting the development of right and sustainable agriculture practices. These actions of agriculture can help them to resolve the problem of water scarcity and able to create large food for the population. It results in boosting of economy.

V: Suggestion

The water scarcity is one of the important issues in the global world that should be removed for saving the life of natural and human. In concern to the agriculture industry, the water crisis can be removed through the use of three pillars of sustainability such as social, environmental and economic.

Social sustainability

Social sustainability is an important aspect that can provide an effective solution of the water scarcity in the world. In this concern, the social organization should provide education to the people and farmers also to change the consumption level of the water.

It must be understood by the people that what consequences can be faced by people due to the water crisis. The level of harm should also be understood by the people that can be raised due to wastage of water and how to reduce wastage of water (Willers et al., 2014).

In concern to this, the society should change their lifestyle where they should reduce water wastage, develop energy efficient desalination plants, improve catchment and harvesting of water, focus on the use of less pollution involved resources and control on the population growth. However, it can be said that society should have good knowledge about saving water for agriculture.

Environmental sustainability

Environmental sustainability is essential for the agriculture industry because it can protect the industry to water scarcity. Some new invention should be focused on water conservation technologies. This technology should prevent water crises by recycling the wastewater at a lower cost.

In addition to this, people should plan the trees and focus on agriculture practices and irrigation that will be supportive to increase the water level into the soil. At the same time, people should also focus on the holistically management of ecosystems to reduce this effect (Pahl-Wostl et al., 2013).

This approach is supportive overseeing natural resources where the wastewater is used by the people or community in the other things like planting the trees. At the same time, the infrastructure should also be improved because the poor infrastructure increases the cost and wastes resources in the agriculture industry as well as it reduces the quality of life of the people.

Economic sustainability

In order to sustain the agriculture industry, economic sustainability also plays an important role in water saving. For this, the governments of several countries set the price of freshwater. It is supportive to save water but it should not be much high or much less.

In addition, the developing regions should focus on transfer water conservation technologies in the dry areas from the water flooding areas. It is so tricky because these countries have a weak economy with skills gaps that need business authorities and compel government for imposing the changes on local citizens.

References

Becken, S., 2014. Water equity–Contrasting tourism water use with that of the local community. Water resources and industry7, pp.9-22.

Bullock, D., 2012. Emissions trading in New Zealand: development, challenges and design. Environmental Politics21(4), pp.657-675.

Cooper, M.H., Boston, J. and Bright, J., 2013. Policy challenges for livestock emissions abatement: lessons from New Zealand. Climate Policy13(1), pp.110-133.

Daugbjerg, C. and Swinbank, A., 2012. An introduction to the ‘new’politics of agriculture and food. Policy and Society31(4), pp.259-270.

Daugbjerg, C., 2018. Policy networks under pressure: pollution control, policy reform and the power of farmers. UK: Routledge.

Ding, D., Zhao, Y., Yang, S., Shi, W., Zhang, Z., Lei, Z. and Yang, Y., 2013. Adsorption of cesium from aqueous solution using agricultural residue–walnut shell: equilibrium, kinetic and thermodynamic modeling studies. Water research47(7), pp.2563-2571.

Foo, L.P.Y., Tee, C.Z., Raimy, N.R., Hassell, D.G. and Lee, L.Y., 2012. Potential Malaysia agricultural waste materials for the biosorption of cadmium (II) from aqueous solution. Clean Technologies and Environmental Policy14(2), pp.273-280.

Foxcoft, D., 2017. Water shortages could be a sign of things to come. [Online] Available at: https://www.stuff.co.nz/auckland/local-news/western-leader/99550944/water-shortages-could-be-a-sign-of-things-to-come (Accessed on: 07-05-2019)

Goldson, S.L., Bourdôt, G.W., Brockerhoff, E.G., Byrom, A.E., Clout, M.N., McGlone, M.S., Nelson, W.A., Popay, A.J., Suckling, D.M. and Templeton, M.D., 2015. New Zealand pest management: current and future challenges. Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand45(1), pp.31-58.

Huang, J., Xu, C.C., Ridoutt, B.G., Liu, J.J., Zhang, H.L., Chen, F. and Li, Y., 2014. Water availability footprint of milk and milk products from large-scale dairy production systems in Northeast China. Journal of cleaner production79, pp.91-97.

Lenzen, M., Moran, D., Bhaduri, A., Kanemoto, K., Bekchanov, M., Geschke, A. and Foran, B., 2013. International trade of scarce water. Ecological Economics94, pp.78-85.

Morris, S.T. and Kenyon, P.R., 2014. Intensive sheep and beef production from pasture—A New Zealand perspective of concerns, opportunities and challenges. Meat science98(3), pp.330-335.

Ndiritu, S.W., Kassie, M. and Shiferaw, B., 2014. Are there systematic gender differences in the adoption of sustainable agricultural intensification practices? Evidence from Kenya. Food Policy49, pp.117-127.

Pahl-Wostl, C., Voeroesmarty, C., Bhaduri, A., Bogardi, J., Rockstroem, J. and Alcamo, J., 2013. Towards a sustainable water future: shaping the next decade of global water research. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability5(6), pp.708-714.

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Siegel, J., 2016. What Happened When New Zealand Got Rid of Government Subsidies for Farmers. [Online] Available at: https://www.dailysignal.com/2016/09/22/what-happened-when-new-zealand-got-rid-of-government-subsidies-for-farmers/ (Accessed on: 07-05-2019)

Teklewold, H., Kassie, M. and Shiferaw, B., 2013. Adoption of multiple sustainable agricultural practices in rural Ethiopia. Journal of agricultural economics64(3), pp.597-623.

Willers, C.D., Ferraz, S.P., Carvalho, L.S. and Rodrigues, L.B., 2014. Determination of indirect water consumption and suggestions for cleaner production initiatives for the milk-producing sector in a Brazilian middle-sized dairy farming. Journal of cleaner production72, pp.146-152.

Zonderland-Thomassen, M.A., Lieffering, M. and Ledgard, S.F., 2014. Water footprint of beef cattle and sheep produced in New Zealand: water scarcity and eutrophication impacts. Journal of Cleaner Production73, pp.253-262.

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