Beating South Asia’s water crisis

The International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) and partners are promoting ways to use South Asia’s precious water more carefully and productively.

South Asia accounts for nearly a quarter of the world’s food production but has access to less than 5 percent of its annual renewable water resources, with per capita water availability decreasing by nearly 70 percent since the 1960s. Yields of wheat, maize and rice in South Asia could decrease by as much as 30 percent over this century, unless farmers adopt innovations to mitigate rising temperatures and changing rainfall patterns.

With a large and growing population, declining arable land, escalating energy costs and intensifying groundwater scarcity in many areas, South Asia’s food and nutritional security challenges typify those of lower- and middle-income regions worldwide: how to produce more food in a water-limited future.

Text: Katelyn Roett

Contributors: Akhter Ali, Scott Justice, Timothy Krupnik, Kai Sonder

Graphics: Gerardo Mejía

Editors: Bianca Beks, G. Michael Listman, Julie Mollins, Geneviève Renard

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