Pros of organic farming to reduce water pollution include controlling animal waste, preventing soil erosion and not using chemical fertilisers and pesticides. These can all affect our drinking water and damage marine life in our coastal regions.
Agricultural water pollution:
Water pollution from agriculture is extremely damaging and is costing many £billions around the world to fix.
In the UK, France and Spain water pollution is getting worse. Countries like China, India and Brazil are contributing to the worldwide problem as they are developing their intensive farming infrastructures.
There are many pros of organic farming when it comes to reducing water pollution. Organic farming methods are less intensive and more responsible. Chemical fertilisers are not used and animal waste is re-used as fertiliser instead of being allowed to run-off into water supplies.
This article will look at some of the pros of organic farming for reducing water pollution.
Pros of organic farming:
Controlled animal waste:
One of the pros of organic farming is how animal waste is controlled. Organic farms will use livestock manure as fertilisers and not let it ‘run off’ into water supplies. Organic farms are less intensive than factory farms. Factory farmed cattle; pigs and chicken create huge volumes of waste.
This waste filters into nearby water supplies. The ammonia is animal manure is highly toxic to fish. Ammonia can be converted into nitrates. Nitrates in our drinking water are very poisonous and can lead to cancer, abortions and ‘blue-baby’ syndrome.
Prevents soil erosion:
Soil erosion is a major cause of water pollution. One of the many pros of organic farming is the creation of healthy soil. Healthy soils on organic farms are able to retain large volumes of water. This means when it rains more water can be stored in the fields.
Soil from conventional farms will run-off with water and pollute waterways. This soil blocks sunlight reaching marine plants. They cannot photosynthesise. The sediment will also suffocate fish.
One of the major pros of organic farming is responsible fertilisation. Organic farms will only use organic fertilisers, and only in the amounts they need. They will not over-use a fertiliser.
Fertilisers are a big problem for coastal regions and for our drinking water. These can ‘run-off’ a field into our water supplies. In these coastal regions the nitrates and phosphates in the water will increase. This leads to eutrophication.
Eutrophication is a process where the water has a high nutrient content resulting in algal blooms. Algae take oxygen out of the water and will suffocate other marine life.
Conventional farms use chemical pesticides. These filter down into our water supplies. We can end up drinking these pesticides. Pesticides are linked to many health concerns.
However, organic farms may use integrated pest management techniques to control pests instead of using chemicals. One example of this would be to introduce natural predators for pests. This has the added benefit of increasing the biodiversity on an organic farm.tagsfertiliserspesticidessoil erosionwater pollution