Around half the world could lose easily accessible groundwater by 2050


EKXM2R Groundwater well and standpipe for crop irrigation. Porterville, Tulare County, San Joaquin Valley, California, USA

Reaching peak groundwater pumping could impact agriculture across the globe

Peter Bennett / Alamy

Groundwater extraction is set to peak globally within the next three decades as unsustainable pumping depletes accessible stores. This could reshape the food and water systems that serve at least half the world’s population.

Between 1960 and 2010, global groundwater extraction increased by more than 50 per cent, largely to irrigate crops. Today, one-fifth of all food is produced using groundwater. Much of this water is extracted from aquifers faster than they naturally refill, driving declining water levels. This…

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