Strawberry fields forever - with some help from mathematicians!

The Pajaro Valley, in the Monterey Bay area of California, is ideally suited for agriculture. In fact, the Pajaro Valley and the nearby Salinas Valley produce nearly half of the strawberries grown in the United States yearly. But, the water source for the valley is a confined underground aquifer that is slowly being depleted. How can mathematics help solve this problem? In January of 2011, the American Institute of Mathematics held a Sustainability Problems workshop with the goal of bringing together mathematicians and industry representatives to work on a variety of sustainability problems, including renewable energy, air quality, water management, and other environmental issues. During the week of the workshop and with follow-up activity, the team has made significant progress in the creation of a virtual farm model to study alternative crop management strategies and their effect on water usage and profit. The team also investigated a surface water analysis to understand feasible ways to capture rainfall for re-infiltration (or recharging) into the aquifer.

Provided by the National Science Foundation

Runtime: 2:50

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