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Research by the risk analysts Maplecroft has found that three global superpowers have vast regions that are at risk of drought as an unsustainable rate of water use is outstripping supply. The US, China, and India risk negative impacts on businesses and agriculture which could undermine economic growth.
“Of the 168 countries covered by the newly released Water Stress Index, India, China and the US rank 34, 50 and 61 respectively in the list, while Middle-Eastern and North African nations make up the top 10.” Businessgreen.com
The lack of water could heavily affect agriculture, industry, and the domestic sector in a manner that could cause global inflation of supply chains and food prices.
The US already has large areas that are suffering from low levels ground water supplies. States such as Arizona, California, Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, and Texas are considered to be at ‘high’ or ‘extreme’ risk of water shortages.
The Ogallala Aquifer supplies the majority of these high risk states, supporting about 15 percent of national corn and wheat production, and 25 percent of the cotton production, and is currently being depleted faster than it can be refilled, leaving some to fear that fresh water could run out in the region in the not too distant future.
India also face a similar problem, where vast regions of the country, some of the most important agricultural land, are facing ‘extreme’ water shortages, causing dry wells and land subsidence.
Alyson Warhurst, chief executive of Maplecroft, warns that businesses must come up with a plan to deal with water shortages across their operations or face potential losses.
By. Joao Peixe of Oilprice.com
Joao is a writer for Oilprice.com