The Day the Water Dries Up
Dry-area agriculture relying on underground aquifers has played an important role in supporting the world's increasing population over the past 50 years. A prime example is the world's' largest aquifer, Ogallala in the US, which is 20% larger than Japan's entire land area. Unfortunately, many of the world’s aquifers are suffering from depletion. Water from aquifers is also called fossil water as it takes hundreds of years to pool and does not regenerate once it has dried out (the aquifers in India, Pakistan, Western Europe, Western US are expected to dry out in the first half of this century)
The population increase necessitates increased food production. Consequently, dry-area agriculture expands, likely worsening the following negative cycle:
Increased usage of fossil water in aquifer ->
Depletion of aquifer which can result in infertility of dry-area agriculture ->
Food shortage which eventually causes water shortage (water issue)
According to United Nations calculations, 60% more food production must be achieved in the coming decades to address the rapid global population expansion, which will reach over 9 billion by the middle of this century. Yet, efforts to meet this urgent demand will only worsen the crisis of the world's water slowly but surely drying up.
“Groundwater is sort of a black box that everybody dips into. It’s seen as a local resource, but the consequences are global.” - Thomas Harter, University of California, Davis
We develop technology with the goal of never seeing the day when our water supply dries up, but even if it happens, we will be ready with solutions to avoid further crises around the world.