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Agricultural News

OSU Celebrates World Water Day 2014

Wed, 19 Mar 2014 15:01:52 CDT

OSU Celebrates World Water Day 2014
Overstating the importance of water is nearly impossible. It is the lifeblood of virtually everything in our world, and in hopes of promoting many of its benefits, Oklahoma State University's Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering (BAE) is participating in World Water Day (WWD) celebrations.

Slated March 22 since 1993, WWD attempts to foster the sustainable management of freshwater resources and to increase the level of public awareness about current and emerging challenges in this field. The theme for WWD 2014 is water-energy nexus, highlighting the interconnection between water and energy.

"The BAE department is participating in WWD celebration because agriculture is in the core of water-energy nexus," said Saleh Taghvaeian, OSU Cooperative Extension assistant specialist. "About 70 percent of total water withdrawals are used for producing agricultural crops worldwide."

On a global basis, about 20 percent of all water withdrawals are used for energy generation in hydroelectric, nuclear or thermoelectric power plants. On the other hand, about 8 percent of the global energy is consumed for pumping, treating and conveying water for various uses.

"It is impossible to imagine life without having access to water and energy resources," said Taghvaeian. "We have no other option but to improve our understanding of water-energy nexus and to make wiser decisions that will lead to a more efficient utilization of these critical resources."

WWD 2014 is promoting the ideas that water requires energy and energy requires water, and supplies are limited and demand is increasing. Also, saving energy is saving water and vice versa.

Numerous faculty members at BAE are working on research projects to address many water issues such as stream/aquifer interaction, stormwater management, water quality, wastewater treatment and watershed modeling and management.

"Irrigation systems rely heavily on energy resources for pumping water from aquifers or ponds, conveying water and applying it in the field using pressurized irrigation systems (sprinkler and drip)," he said. "On the other hand, biofuel crops produced under rainfed and irrigated agriculture offer an alternate source of energy, reducing our dependency on foreign oil."

In collaboration with WWD 2014, the BAE Graduate Student Association is sponsoring a seminar March 24 at 4 p.m. in Ag Hall, room 225 on OSU's Stillwater campus. The event is free and open to the public.

"We invite everybody to attend the seminar to learn more about water-energy nexus and to participate in an open discussion on challenges and opportunities in Oklahoma, U.S. and the world," Taghvaeian said. "We all rely on water and energy, and it takes all of us to make a difference toward a more efficient use of these resources."

For more information, call Taghvaeian at 405-744-8395.



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