Submitted to: International Soil and Water Conservation Conference
Publication Type: Abstract only
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/7/2011
Publication Date: 7/17/2011
Citation: Busscher, W.J. 2011. Spending our soil resources [abstract]. Soil and Water Conservation Society 2011 Annual International Conference, July 17-20, 2011, Washington, DC. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: A third of the world's population suffers from food insecurity. With an expected 2 billion population increase in the next few decades, that number is expected to rise significantly, leading to more people that are insecure and starving unless our soils can produce more food. Added to the problem are soils degrading at a rate of 5 to 6 M ha (12 to 15 M a) annually, third world countries demanding more food with their increased standards of living, and water being depleted at non-renewable rates from confined aquifers. Potential solutions include opening up new cropland, developing better eating habits, and improving the efficiency of our contemporary soil and water resources; this last option being the most promising. Contemporary soil and water production practices have been improving for ages; but a more concerted effort supported by all of society will be needed to meet such a large-scale effort. It involves recognizing that soil and water are at the base of our civilization and that they need to be more valued and conserved.