torsdag 25. februar 2021

India's groundwater crisis threatens food security for hundreds of millions, study says

Hundreds of millions of people in India face a serious threat to their livelihoods and food security due to overexploitation of vital water supplies, according to the authors of a new study. India is one of the world's biggest crop producers and more than half of its 1.3 billion people rely on agriculture for their livelihoods. But the groundwater that makes up 40% of the country's water supply has been steadily depleting for years.

The study, published Wednesday in the journal Science Advances, found that overuse of groundwater could cause winter harvests in some regions of the country to fall up to two thirds by 2025. A team of international researchers analyzed satellite imagery and census data to gauge the impact on winter harvests, which account for 44% of the country's annual cropped acreage for food grains, according to the study. Winter agriculture relies heavily on groundwater irrigation -- as opposed to other seasons that can take advantage of heavy monsoon rains.