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Posted Tue Jun 28 2011: from Guardian:
China told to reduce food production or face 'dire' water levels
China needs to reduce food production on its dry northern plains or aquifers will diminish to a "dire" level in 30 years, one the country's leading groundwater experts has warned. Zheng Chunmiao, director of the Water Research Centre at Peking University, said the world's most populous country will have to focus more on demand-side restraint because it is becoming more expensive and difficult to tap finite supplies below the surface.... Over the past 10 years, Zheng estimates the annual water deficit in northern China at 4bn cubic metres. This is increasingly made up from underground sources, which account for 70 percent of water supplies. Although some aquifers remain 500 metres thick, others are emptying at an alarming rate. This has created depletion cones, the deepest of which is at Hengshui near Xizhuajiang.... Zheng said much more needs to be done, including demand reduction, water transfers and greater use of desalination plants. "We will get there because we have to," he said. "If nothing changes, then in 30 years, we will face a dire situation."
[Read more stories about: aquifers depletion, water issues, food crisis]
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'Doc Michael says:
Surely we'll then find some other million-year-storehouse of something else that we can deplete.

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