What Happens to the U.S. Midwest When the Water's Gone?

sorghum-grain-cropFrom www.nationalgeographic.com

Fact: A single 1/4 lb hamburger requires about 460 gallons of water to raise and process the beef.

“The draining of North America’s largest aquifer is playing out in similar ways across the world, as large groundwater basins in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East decline rapidly. Many of these aquifers, including the southern Ogallala, have little ability to recharge. Once their water is gone, they could take thousands of years to refill.

‘The consequences will be huge,’ says Jay Famiglietti, senior water scientist at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory and lead researcher on a study using satellites to record changes in the world’s 37 largest aquifers. ‘We need to sustain groundwater to sustain food production, and we’re not doing it. Is draining the Ogallala the smartest thing for food production in the U.S. and globally? This is the question we need to answer.’ ”

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