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Irrigation in India topic of Geography Awareness Week speaker, November 15

Image of drip irrigation practice in India.

Image of drip irrigation practice in India.

Trevor Birkenholtz from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign will be the speaker for the 2016 Geography Awareness Week, presenting “Assembling drip irrigation: Efficiency, the ‘feminization of agriculture’ and policy implications in India” at 5 p.m. November 15 in Felmley Hall, room 209. There will be a reception at 4:30 p.m.

Irrigation accounts for more than 70 percent of water withdrawals globally. State planners, as well as international water organizations, agree that irrigation must be made more efficient in order to reduce demand for water in irrigated agriculture and to make more water available for non-agricultural uses, while also raising agricultural productivity.

Birkenholtz argues that drip irrigation, a method which supplies water directly to plant stems or roots, may not actually lead to water savings. Birkenholtz will draw on his ongoing ethnographic research in northwestern India to examine the political and economic conditions under which the rapid spread of drip irrigation is not leading to water savings.

The talk is sponsored by the Department of Geography-Geology at Illinois State University.