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Better water use could reduce future food crises
Date:5/5/2009

on by increasing their efficiency of use of available blue and green water. Using the LPJmL dynamic global vegetation and water balance model, which simulates the establishment, growth, productivity and water consumption of natural and agricultural vegetation, present (1996-2005) and future (2045-2055) water availability around the globe were simulated.

The model showed that by 2050, 59 percent of the world population will face blue water shortage, and 36 percent will face green-plus-blue water shortage. This means that 36 percent of the world population will live in countries that will not have enough water to produce their own food.

"Unfortunately, despite the new opportunities arising from our green-blue analysis, our findings show that humanity will still face major water challenges by 2050 in certain regions of the world," says Rockstrm.

Dr Karlberg calls for a broadened green-blue approach in order to identify options for better water resilience building.

"However, provided the green water was managed better, for example by methods to increase plant transpiration at the expense of unproductive soil evaporation, even under climate change good options would exist to build water resilience in many countries even without expanding cropland."

The research team will in forthcoming studies further examine the potential of specific green water management strategies to raise future food production.


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Contact: Maria Erlandsson
maria.erlandsson@kommunikation.su.se
46-702-308-891
Swedish Research Council
Source:Eurekalert

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