ÈÍÒÅËÐÎÑ > ¹3, 2010 > Water Sustains All
Water Sustains All
05 àïðåëÿ 2011
Centuries of experience and technological development separate today’s farmer from the first people who scraped a crop from the ground thousands of years ago, but one thing these farmers still share — the need for water. Agriculture consumes about 70 percent of the planet’s fresh water, up to 90 percent in some countries, surpassing industrial and domestic uses by far.
Reliable water supplies will be a critical factor in increasing agricultural production to meet the needs of the world’s expanding population. The challenge will be to extract greater efficiency from every drop. Irrigated land in developing countries will increase by 34 percent by 2030, according to a U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization estimate, but the amount of water used to produce food crops will increase by only 14 percent because of improved irrigation practices.
So how much water does it take to grow food? Obviously different crops have widely diverse needs, but generally, between 2,000 to 5,000 liters of water are required to grow the food that an average person consumes per day.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency offers these estimates of the water needed to produce a variety of foods: