Today holds special significance for those who appreciate the vital roles played by soil and water in our world. We join the global United Nations World Soil Day (WSD) celebration. This year's campaign theme, "Soil and water: a source of life," brings to the forefront the profound interdependence of these two fundamental elements and the pressing need for integrated management to address their global challenges.
The Essence of Soil and Water in Our Lives
It's a fact that over 95 percent of the food we rely on begins its journey on the land, taking root in the soil and nourishing itself with water. Water, in particular, plays a pivotal role in facilitating nutrient absorption by plants, a process essential for food production. However, the health of our soil is under threat, exerting immense pressure on our precious water resources.
Soil Degradation and its Impact on Water
Soil degradation, a growing concern, has far-reaching consequences for water resources. Soil erosion and compaction disrupt the soil's ability to store, drain, and infiltrate water. As a result, water infiltration and retention are compromised, leading to decreased water availability for both plants and organisms. The stark reality is that the fate of our water is inexorably tied to the well-being of our soil.
The Power of Regenerative Management
Amid these challenges, there is hope. Regenerative management principles emerge as our allies in preserving the vitality of soil and water. The principles, namely minimum disturbance, keeping soil covered, keeping a live root in the soil as many days as possible, managing for diversity (warm and cool seasons cash and cover crops, perennials and annuals) and reintroduction of livestock into the system (with appropriate adaptive grazing management) not only mitigate soil degradation but also offer a myriad of benefits. These practices enhance water retention, increase soil organic matter, increase nutrient recycling thus improving soil fertility, and promote biodiversity (think wildlife, especially valuable birds like pheasant and grouse).
Soil: A Valuable Ally
It's clear that soil, when nurtured and cared for (i.e., management).., becomes a valuable ally in ensuring food and water security. Beyond this, it plays a pivotal role in climate mitigation and adaptation. Healthy soil contributes to the fight against climate change through carbon sequestration, aligning with our global efforts to address this pressing issue.
On this World Soil Day, let's commit to integrated management practices that preserve and rejuvenate our soil and water resources. As we do so, we not only secure food and water for future generations but also take meaningful steps towards a more sustainable and resilient world.
Join us in celebrating World Soil Day 2023 and championing the cause of "Soil and water: a source of life." Together, we can make a difference.
Happy World Soil Day!
Visit these “Growing Resilience Through Our Soils” information pages:
1. Podcast page for drought planning fact sheets, Q&As, news, podcasts and more.
2. Video page to watch videos of other ranchers’ journeys toward improved rangeland/pasture.
3.Follow Growing Resilience on social media:
4. Our homepage: www.growingresiliencesd.com