31 Oct '13, 12pm

One-Quarter of World’s Agriculture Grows in Highly Water-Stressed Areas

One-Quarter of World’s Agriculture Grows in Highly Water-Stressed Areas

Different crops face different levels of stress in different regions . More than 40 percent of wheat is grown in areas facing high or extremely high levels of water stress. Fiber crops, such as cotton, are grown under even more stressed conditions. More than half of global cotton production happens in regions of high or extremely high stress. Water consumption levels vary by crop type . Globally, roots (carrots and beets) and tubers (potatoes) require an average of 0.5 liters of water per calorie, whereas legumes (lentils and beans) require 1.2 liters per calorie, according to researchers at the University of Twente and the Water Footprint Network . In other words, different types of crops create different water footprints. Irrigated land is twice as likely to be highly stressed . Irrigation alone – which can use surface water, groundwater, or both – can dramatically incre...

Full article: http://www.wri.org/blog/one-quarter-world%E2%80%99s-agric...

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