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Groundwater depletion will reduce cropping intensity in India

Creator: Meha Jain
Creator: Fishman, R.
Creator: Mondal, P.
Creator: Galford, G.L.
Creator: Bhattarai, N.
Creator: Naeem, S.
Creator: Lall, U.
Creator: Singh, B.
Creator: DeFries, R.S.
Year: 2021
Language: English
Publisher: AAAS
Copyright: CIMMYT manages Intellectual Assets as International Public Goods. The user is free to download, print, store and share this work. In case you want to translate or create any other derivative work and share or distribute such translation/derivative work, please contact indicating the work you want to use and the kind of use you intend; CIMMYT will contact you with the suitable license for that purpose
Type: Article
Country focus: India
Place of Publication: USA
Issue: 9
Volume: 7
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abd2849
Description: Groundwater depletion is becoming a global threat to food security, yet the ultimate impacts of depletion on agricultural production and the efficacy of available adaptation strategies remain poorly quantified. We use high-resolution satellite and census data from India, the world’s largest consumer of groundwater, to quantify the impacts of groundwater depletion on cropping intensity, a crucial driver of agricultural production. Our results suggest that, given current depletion trends, cropping intensity may decrease by 20% nationwide and by 68% in groundwater-depleted regions. Even if surface irrigation delivery is increased as a supply-side adaptation strategy, which is being widely promoted by the Indian government, cropping intensity will decrease, become more vulnerable to interannual rainfall variability, and become more spatially uneven. We find that groundwater and canal irrigation are not substitutable and that additional adaptation strategies will be necessary to maintain current levels of production in the face of groundwater depletion.
Related Datasets:
Elocator: abd2849
ISSN: 2375-2548
Journal: Science Advances

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  • Sustainable Intensification
    Sustainable intensification agriculture including topics on cropping systems, agronomy, soil, mechanization, precision agriculture, etc.

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