Rethinking the Approach to Groundwater and Food Security | Land Portal

Resource information

Date of publication: 
December 2003
Resource Language: 
ISBN / Resource ID: 
FAODOCREP:6659e17a-10ee-52bf-b51b-68da3ab09072
Pages: 
59
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Copyright details: 
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The global reproduction of food, notably cereal crops, appears to have been remarkably resilient to the vagaries of climate. The unsung hero in this production chain may well be groundwater. When rainfed agriculture fails, the fallback is usually groundwater. First it is accessed to smooth over the dry periods, and then it becomes a habit. Therefore, staying within strict resource limits would seem to be the obvious piece of management advice. That sensibile advice was given in the late 1950s; in the meantime the green revolution occurred and 40 years later the resource limits on many key aquifiers have been exceeded. High-quality groundwater that had taken thousands of years to emplace has gone in a few decades, leaving agriculture, municipalities and rural communities competing for the recoverable groundwater that remains. This paper explains why conventional approaches to groundwater management may need to be re-thought.

Authors and Publishers

Author(s), editor(s), contributor(s): 
Marcus Moench, Jacob Burke, Yarrow Moench Land and Water Division Deputy Directory-General Natural Resources
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