When crop production is decreased due to a lack of water, many fields are left un-sown, or fallow.
When this happens for an extended amount of time the sun absorbs moisture from the land, and because there are no plants to retain the water or nutrients in the soil, a dustbowl effect is created.
The question is no longer whether or not a water shortage is in our near future; the real question is where this catastrophe will occur, how severe its effects will be, and how society can reduce its impact.
The earth is covered by about seventy percent water, in various forms, and thirty percent land mass. States to Face Water Shortages in the Next Five Years that “Florida has no shortage of rainfall, widespread draining and paving of the region’s natural wetlands has left the water unable to drain back into the soil.” This lack of preservation of natural clean water supply is an enormous concern.
In Australia the droughts have continued for so long that experts are not sure to qualify it as an extended drought or a newly set extremely dry and hot climate (Walsh 2).
This means that there is a reduction in both readily available drinking water and water used in agricultural cultivation.Even in the case of Cape Town, which earlier this year proclaimed a water supply crisis that experts believed could literally cause taps to run dry, city officials blithely announced earlier this month that no emergency was imminent after all. The answer is yes—but not in the way most people think.The truth is, most of the world’s water woes can be solved with enough money and willpower.This simply means that the soil will not be able to support future plant life.Few people would argue with the idea that the world has a serious problem with water.The real challenges are not technical or hydrological but political and ethical.The world’s water crisis, as it turns out, is really more of an existential one.But it’s one that poses plenty of real-world foreign policy challenges.QUICK FIXES Broadly speaking, the world faces three separate water-related challenges that have each gotten much worse in recent decades.The United Nations warns that political turmoil, social unrest, civil war and terrorism could result from food shortages unless food production is increased by 60% by 2050.Agriculture already accounts for about 70% of global freshwater withdrawals to keep up with current food demand.