chapter  11
24 Pages

Precision Agriculture for Improving Water Quality under Changing Climate

Declining water quality has become a global concern due to worldwide expansion of agricultural land and intensification of agricultural practices, industrialization, and climate change. Every day, 2 million tons of agricultural and industrial waste and sewage are discharged into the world’s water. The amount of wastewater produced annually is about 1500 km3, six times more water than exists in all the rivers of the world (UN WWAP 2003). Waterborne infections account for 80% of all infectious diseases worldwide and 90% in developing countries. In the United States, almost onethird of the nation’s stream miles and 20% of the lakes contain high total phosphorus (P) and total nitrogen (N) concentrations (US EPA 2010), and waterborne diseases account for 900,000 infections and about 900 deaths each year (Pimentel et al. 2007). Globally, 24% of mammals and 12% of birds connected to inland waters are considered threatened due to both degrading water quality and excessive water harvesting (UN WWAP 2003).