Water precious water
The next major war could well be fought over water resources, according to the United Nations. We also think that this will include access to growing areas within your own country ie ownership of land and seeds. We will write about that one soon.
With droughts across the US West Coast and North-East Africa, and a growing likelihood of an El Nino event which will cause continued dry conditions across Australia’s east coast, we need to seriously consider our water use. And whether we like it or not, agriculture accounts for about half of all water usage.
Among the various crops, cotton and rice are probably the most intensive users. According to international figures, it takes about 2,500 litres of water to produce 1Kg of rice. By comparison, 1Kg of apples takes 822 litres and 1Kg of tomatoes just 214 litres. (Australian rice-growers are a little more efficient with water: they only take about 1,500 litres per kg of rice.
Still, that makes rice a big user of scarce irrigation water – and all the more reason to make sure rice is planted in areas with abundant rainfall, mainly in north Queensland, the NT and the north of WA.