PNAS Study: Population Growth Will be Constrained by the Limits of Trading Virtual Water (Food)
A new study has been released by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), which calls into question the unsustainable global food export system based upon unsustainable export volumes of virtual water.
The first sentence sums it up:
Population growth is in general constrained by food production, which in turn depends on the access to water resources. … Most of the water we use is to produce the food we eat. With the world’s population that has doubled every 40 years, there is a growing concern that water limitations will soon impede humanity to meet its food requirements.
The study refers to a global water unbalance and challenges the long-term sustainability of the food trade system as a whole, based upon current food export rates. It projects that growing demographic requirements of water-rich nations will result in less exports to water-poor regions.
Water-rich regions are likely to soon reduce the amount of virtual water they export, thus leaving import-dependent regions without enough water to sustain their populations.
The concern is that virtual water trade is allowing for some populations to exceed the limits imposed by their local water resources, and that by sustaining demographic growth above the regional carrying capacity, virtual water trade has mitigated the effects of drought and famine in many regions of the world.
To read the full blog, please click here: http://www.bigpictureagriculture.com/2013/01/pnas-population-growth-constrained-limits-trading-virtual-water-food-317.html
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