Grow more food with less water
Enable Oregon farmers to increase crop yields with less water, especially where water allotments limit crop production, as in the Klamath River basin. Provide Oregon farmers with a unique starch-based biodegradable soil amendment, developed from 30+ years of research by the USDA and later private industry here in Oregon. Zeba™ granules offer a way to grow more with less water. When added to the soil around the root of a plant, Zeba granules store 500 times their mass in water, and then release it to the plant during dry periods, over and over for a year or more, stretching scarce water resources, while it degrades feeding the microorganisms in the soil
The key organizations are aligned to demonstrate viability: Abundance Farming, an Oregon non-profit provides this unique water harvesting technology to smallholder farmers internationally and is offering this product and our technical support to the Klamath Water Users Association, an Oregon nonprofit who would provide it to the farmers in their region. The developer and manufacturer of Zeba, Absorbent Technologies Inc, also an Oregon company, supports this program and would provide the product and technical advice.
Fresh water is ~3% of all water on Earth, most of this is ice and only 1% is available to be shared. Of this liquid 1%, most is used for agriculture. Any effort to conserve water must address this critical use, by supporting farmers to grow more food with less water. Our current and future food security depends on supporting farmers to grow more food. Competing uses for limited water require new solutions for food production and this is a unique one.
This is an ideal model for funding and technology from the Portland area, providing direct support to rural Oregon farmers, while benefiting all of Oregon.
Abundance Farming Project impact: Growing Food, Conserving Water, Stabilizing Economies. www.abundancefarming.org
Paul Osterlund commented
A quick calculation shows using Zeba, with 12% less water than typical to grow POTATOES, WE WOULD SAVE 78,203 GALLONS PER ACRE -- with Zeba that costs ~ $60 and produces yields comparable to full water regime.
For wheat, using Zeba and 12% less water we would save 61,911 GALLONS PER ACRE (based on 24" per season for potato and 19" per season for wheat, typical in the Klamath River Basin)