“Indeed, in many agricultural regions — including northern China, southern India (as well as the Punjab), Mexico, the western United States, parts of the Middle East, and elsewhere — water may be much more of a constraint to future food production than land, crop yield potential, or most other factors. Developing and distributing technologies and practices that improve water management is critical to sustaining the food production capability we now have, much less increasing it for the future. Water-short Israel is a front-runner in making its agricultural economy more water-efficient. Its current agricultural output could probably not have been achieved without steady advances in water management — including highly efficient drip irrigation, automated systems that apply water only when crops need it, and the setting of water allocations based on predetermined optimum water applications for each crop. The nation’s success is notable: between 1951 and 1990, Israeli farmers reduced the amount of water applied to each hectare of cropland by 36 percent. This allowed the irrigated area to more than triple with only a doubling of irrigation water use.37 Whether”

Laurie Ann Mazur, Beyond the Numbers: A Reader on Population, Consumption and the Environment
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