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Bio1127 – Environmental Issues in the News II

Autor:   •  April 27, 2019  •  Essay  •  467 Words (2 Pages)  •  102 Views

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Susan Goss

Bio1127 – Environmental Issues in the News II

May 14, 2017

I have chosen an article from the Environmental Health Daily website entitled “In California, salt taints soil, threatening food security.”

The San Joaquin Valley, located in the southern half of California, supplies one-third of its vegetables and two-thirds of its fruits and nuts eaten in the United States. But this amount of production is being threatened due to soil that contains too much salt. This area once has a vast inland sea. This made the soil sediment rich, but also salty. In addition, with the arid weather and droughts, California farmers often use underground water for irrigation, the salt builds up overtime. This is making some land in California useless for farming.

California isn’t the only area that is experiencing this problem. Globally, soil degradation is estimated at 33%, 20% of that have been spoiled by salt. Each week, we lose an area the size of Manhattan. The UN Food Organization predicts we will need to increase food production by 70% to feed the 9.1 billon people the world is expected to have in 2050 – just 33 years away. Healthy soils are needed for a firm foundation of global food production.

Solutions are complicated and case specific. Some solutions involve flushing soil with cleaner water, planting more salt tolerant plants, installing drains underground to collect salt for deposit in a central location.

The Western area of California’s Central Valley, sits atop a shallow layer of clay. So when farmers there try to cleanse salt from the soil, the water will collect on top of the clay and rise up toward the service. This drowns the roots and surrounds them with salty water. This unfortunately, kills the plants. To solve this problem,


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