Achieving Water Security in Agriculture: The Human Factor
- Lois Wright Morton *
It is widely recognized that achieving water security will take substantive investments in hydrology, engineering, soil science, agronomy, and a wide variety of physical and natural sciences and technologies. Less understood is the human aspect, the social science of beliefs, values, human perceptions and decision-making, social relationships, and social organization that intentionally and unintentionally construct, destroy, and reconstruct the water and land resources to which society is intimately linked. Addressing the complex issues of water security will require humans to acknowledge the threats to security and a willingness to give priority to assuring water quality, water availability, and water access to meet the needs of a growing world population and their economic engines. Soil–water–vegetation–climate–human relationships are central to maintaining and repairing the hydrological cycle necessary for fresh, safe, and abundant water supply. The current and future condition of our earth ecosystem is substantively dependent on individual and social decisions and policies associated with water. There is a need for (i) more coupled human-natural science to understand these relationships, (ii) greater public participation in connecting scientific facts and social values, and (iii) a willingness to innovate and adapt water and land use decisions and policies as scientific understanding and values evolve.Please view the pdf by using the Full Text (PDF) link under 'View' to the left.
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