Making the most of every drop
You may be surprised to learn that agriculture uses about 70% of the world’s freshwater supply. But it makes sense when you think about it: crops simply can’t grow without water. They need freshwater from lakes, rivers, rain, groundwater and aquifers to prosper.
As the world’s population grows, we’ll need more water for our personal use, of course, but we’ll also need more to grow our food. Since our freshwater supplies are finite, it makes sense for us to pursue innovations that help us use water more efficiently.
We use technology, agricultural practices, breeding and biotechnology to improve the ability of crops to grow in water-limited drought conditions, ensuring a steady harvest and an accessible food supply. Here are a few examples of work we’re doing:
around the world
Nebraska, United States
Our Water Utilization Learning Center in Nebraska is focused on researching water use in crops, so we can help farmers ake the most of every drop of water.
The AquaTEK program uses soil sensors to track moisture levels on Italian farms. As data are collected, we share information with farmers to help them grow crops more sustainably.
Our vegetable seed team in Ica, Peru, diligently tracked water used in seed production, and made adjustments to irrigate more efficiently. In 2013, this led to a total water savings of 17 million gallons — in desert conditions.
Multiple countries in Sub-Saharan Africa
We partner with groups in Africa to share new tools with resource-poor farmers there. The Water Efficient Maize for Africa program is designed to develop seed that can survive in drought conditions.