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Saturday, April 1, 2017

Irrigation and the effects on groundwater used to grow internationally traded food.

A new research has shown that eleven percent of the global non-renewable groundwater drawn up for irrigation goes to produce crops that are then traded on the international market and this 11 percent of disappearing groundwater is used to grow internationally traded food. A new study by researchers at the University College London and NASA's Goddard Institute of Space Studies in New York City and published in the Nature shows that 11 percent of the global non-renewable groundwater drawn up for irrigation goes to produce crops that are then traded on the international market. Additionally, two-thirds of the exported crops that depend on non-renewable groundwater are produced in Pakistan (29 percent), the United States (27 percent), and India (12 percent). Wheat, rice, sugar, cotton and maize are among the essential internationally traded crops in the global economy. To produce these crops many countries rely on irrigated agriculture that accounts for about 70 percent of global freshwater withdrawals. A change in agricultural practices will not only ensure foodsecurity but also conserve underground water.According to the United Nations Water program, one freshwater source is underground aquifers, some of which replenish so slowly that they are essentially a non-renewable resource. It's not just individual countries that experience groundwater depletion, but also their trade partners, When people consume certain imported foods, they should be aware that they can have an impact on the environment elsewhere.