Like Water for… Soil

By Deborah Bossio
Feb 17, 2017 12:30 PM ET
Blog

We often think of soil health and water security as distinct conservation issues, but in fact they are inseparable. A new study from The Nature Conservancy (TNC) underscores how good soil management is not only foundational to safeguarding water supplies, but also generates additional benefits on local to global scales.

Locally, good soil health benefits farmers growing crops, and the often hidden species living underground. Regionally, good soil health means less sediment entering rivers, whose water is essential to downstream communities and industries, and to economically-important coastal zones. Healthy soil also promotes the infiltration of water into the ground, which can mean more downstream water available during dry times and less flash flooding during storms. Globally, good soil health means greater long-term agricultural productivity for the world’s growing population and significant avoidance of carbon loss to the atmosphere that would otherwise contribute to climate change.

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Deborah’s academic roots are in Soil Biology and Fertility. She holds a M.Sc. and PhD in Soil Science from the University of California, Davis and is passionate about the pivotal role that soils play in supporting lives and ecosystems. She has published a wealth of research papers on the subject and emphasizes bringing soil science to practice, playing thought leadership roles in global initiatives including the Global Landscape Forum, the 4P/1000 research consortia and the Initiative 20x20.