Falling water table may lead to global food crisis, warn experts
London: A leading resource analyst has warned that food supplies are threatened globally because wells are drying up and underwater tables are falling in the Middle East and parts of India, China and the US.
Lester Brown, head of the Earth Policy Institute in Washington, in a new essay has said that 18 nations, constituting 50 percent of world`s population, are pumping underground water tables to the point - known as "peak water" - where they don`t get replenished, which has resulted in their harvests decreasing each year, an English daily reported.
He said that in India, 175 million people are being fed with grain that has been produced by overpumping, in China the figure is closer to 130 million.
Brown asserted that the situation in India could be even worse, because well drillers are using modified oil-drilling technology to reach water that are lying half a mile or more deep.
He explained that the harvest has expanded in recent years, but it has only happened because of massive overpumping from the water table.
Brown said that the food consumption and survival margin is shaky in India, whose population grows by 18 million every year and where irrigation depends almost entirely on underground water.
He added that farmers have drilled 21m deep and are drawing large quantities of underground water out, and water tables are decreasing at an accelerating rate in Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu.
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