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Groundwater overuse rising, could hit food prices
- The world has been increasingly extracting groundwater to support agriculture
- Most of these go to rice, wheat, cotton, corn, sugar and soybean crops
- Water use efficiency needs to be improved as also monitoring and regulation
The increasing use of groundwater for irrigation poses a major threat to global food security and could lead to unaffordable prices of staple foods. From 2000 to 2010, the amount of non-renewable groundwater used for irrigation increased by a quarter, according to an article published in Nature on March 30. During the same period China had doubled its groundwater use.
The article finds that 11 per cent of groundwater extraction for irrigation is linked to agricultural trade.
“In some regions, for example in Central California or North-West India, there is not enough precipitation or surface water available to grow crops…
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