GAO keeps a close eye on the latest technologies, but today we’re looking at a truly ancient one: irrigated agriculture. Despite dating back at least 5,000 years, irrigation technology continues to improve. Micro irrigation, for example, applies water close to the crop for high efficiency. And precision agriculture uses satellite imagery, wireless moisture sensors, and other tools to optimize irrigation scheduling.
But are these technologies being used to save water in places facing water scarcity? And what options do policymakers have to reduce the impact of irrigated agriculture in those places?
Our new report tackles these questions. If you want an audio introduction, listen to our podcast with Tim Persons, GAO’s chief scientist:
For a visual snapshot, check out our infographic: