Water, Onions & Our World
Water is one of — if not THE — most precious resource on our planet. It is essential for sustaining life. As human beings, we are 60% water. Onions start off at about 83% water. At Gills Onions, we care deeply about our people, our products, and our environment. That’s why we are so excited to celebrate World Water Day on March 22. Here’s why you should celebrate too.
Let’s Talk About Water
The United Nations designated World Water Day to highlight the importance of fresh water. It’s a day to advocate for sustainable practices and put water at the heart of climate policy and action plans. According to the United Nations, “Extreme weather events are making water more scarce, more unpredictable, more polluted or all three. Humans need water to survive, as do all the systems we rely on: sanitation, healthcare, education, business and industry.” We’d like to add agriculture to that list. We need water to grow the food that we eat every day. Everyone eats, and water is an essential part of getting food from the field to your plate.
Without Water, There Are No Onions
Onions need roughly 30 inches of water each season to grow. That may not sound like much, but remember that about 9.2 million acres of onions are grown and harvested each year worldwide. Onions provide important nutrients that humans need to be healthy. They are high in vitamin C and contain calcium, iron, high quality proteins, fiber, and folic acid. They are low in sodium and fat free. Research has even shown that onions can reduce the risk of cancer. So, we need onions. Onions need water. The question, then, is how can we use water most efficiently and grow onions in a sustainable way?
Gills Onions’ Approach to Water Sustainability
At Gills Onions, we are dedicated to sustainable agricultural practices. That’s why we converted 99% of our conventional irrigation methods to drip irrigation, reducing water consumption in our California fields by 40%. That change conserves enough water in our fields to meet the annual needs of 2,900 homes. In our processing facility, a wastewater treatment plant treats about 180,000 gallons of production wastewater each day. Ultimately, 100% of this water is purified and recycled back to our facility for reuse.
There is always more we can do to protect our environment and preserve our earth’s most precious resources. This World Water Day, how will you raise awareness and protect freshwater in your area? Share with us on social media!
Ready to try onions the Gills Way? For more information, contact our sales department.