The paper "Agriculture and Water Uses Challenges" is a wonderful example of a literature review on agriculture. The origin of water use in agriculture through irrigation has been traced back to ancient civilizations, such as China, Egypt, and Mesopotamia. These civilizations easily dealt with the demand for water. This is especially due to the fact that agriculture was their main economic activity, and thus they organized their cultures primarily around irrigation. But dealing with the demand for water, including the allocation of water for agriculture, has become a daunting task for today’ s governments. The rapid growth of the population today has caused the increase of urbanization.
A large population has translated into increased demand for water for sanitation, drinking, etc. And industrialization, one of the key characters of urbanization, means that besides agriculture, water is also now needed in other commercial and manufacturing sectors (ACIAR, n.d. ; Walker & Salt, 2006). Ivanova (2012) pens an article aptly titled Australia’ s Agriculture and Energy Sectors Clash Over Water, and in which she notes the impact that rapid development of Australia’ s coal seam gas industry is having on the allocation of water for rural agriculture, what she refers to as ‘ farming regions’ .
These competing demands for water, which are actually on the increase, are in-turn increasing pressure on the world’ s water resources. While crop irrigation in agriculture is the key use of freshwater resources in Australia, for instance, the aforementioned population increase and urbanization are accelerating the consumption of water (ACIAR, n.d. ; walker & Salt, 2006). Australia’ s Murray Darling Basin is a context in which this conflict of demands of water use is evident. This paper is a report on water use in relation to agriculture in the Murray Darling Basin (MDB).
The assessment and evaluation of the crisis in MDB provide a key basis for understanding the economic, environmental, political, and ethical issues that Australian agriculture faces today.
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Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) 2011, Reducing water use
in agriculture, viewed 24th May 2012 from http://aciar.gov.au/node/725
Crase, L 2008, Water policy in Australia: the impact of change and
uncertainty. http://admin.cita-aragon.es/pub/documentos/documentos_CRASE_2-5_b8e6f4de.pdf (accessed 24th May, 2012)
Friedman, L 2002, The microeconomics of public policy analysis. Princeton:
Princeton University Press
Grafton, RQ & Peterson, D 2007, Water trading and pricing, in Hussey, K and
Dovers, S (eds) Managing water for Australia - the social and institutional challenges, CSIRO publishing, Collingwood, pp. xi-xiii.
Ivanova, N 2012, ‘Australia’s agriculture and energy sectors clash over water’, Circle
of Blue, May 1. http://www.circleofblue.org/waternews/2012/world/australias-agriculture-and-energy-sectors-clash-over-water/ (accessed 23rd May, 2012)
MacDonald, D & Young, M 2000, A case study of the Murray-Darling Basin. Final
Report for the International Water Management Institute.
New South Wales HSC online (n.d.), Water use in the Murray Darling
Basin, http://www.hsc.csu.edu.au/agriculture/electives/climate/3350/water_use.htm (accessed 23rd May, 2012)
O’Connor, S 2011, ‘Putting a price on the priceless’, ABC Environment, 17th
Feb. http://www.abc.net.au/environment/articles/2011/02/17/3140622.htm (accessed 24th May, 2012)
Stubbs, J, Storer, J, Lux, C & Storer, T 2010, Report 4: exploring the relationship
between community resilience and irrigated agriculture in the MDB: social and economic impacts of reduced irrigation water. Judith Stubbs & Associates. http://www.cottoncrc.org.au/files/1f637441-2626-4c4d-9e59-9f7c00ffa846/rpt_4_social_economic_impacts_100804.pdf (accessed 23rd May, 2012)
Walker, B & Salt, D 2006, Resilience thinking: sustaining ecosystems and people in
a changing world. Island Press, Washington
Wong, P 2008, Water for the Future, Senator the Hon Penny Wong speech to the 4th
Annual Australian Water Summit, Sydney, 29 April 2008.