Food and the Future Environment

Goals and Learning Objectives


Goals and Learning Objectives


  • Analyze the relationships between climate, availability of water resources, irrigation, and agricultural food production.
  • Examine their water footprints and the virtual water embedded in agricultural food products.
  • Summarize the major impacts of agriculture on both the quality and quantity of water resources.

Learning Objectives

After completing this module, students will be able to:

  • Explain the relationships between evapotranspiration (ET), climate, and crop consumptive use.
  • Describe the major impacts of agricultural diversions on the Colorado River.
  • Relate the spatial distribution of precipitation and ET rates to where food can be grown with and without irrigation.
  • Relate nutrient loading from fertilizer use to the dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico.
  • Attribute major water pollutants to appropriate agricultural sources.
  • Estimate their water consumption in the food you eat using the concepts of virtual water and water footprints.