World Water Day, March 22, 2022: Groundwater – Making the Invisible Visible

Bhutan Rice Field

This year’s World Water Day shines the spotlight on a topic that isn’t making headlines but should. That’s the accelerating depletion of our planet’s groundwater supplies.

Why is that so important? Just 2.5% of all water on Earth is fresh water. That’s the water we need to support human life– to drink, wash, grow food. Most of it (about 68%) is actually locked up in ice. Only 1.2% is on the surface, stored in our lakes, rivers and streams. A whopping 30% is under our feet in the ground.

Where is Earth's water?

Groundwater is essential for our food security. Forty percent of the water used to irrigate our global food crops is pumped up from under the ground, though this varies by region and country. In India, for example, 60% of the nation’s irrigation supply comes from groundwater.

Production of wheat and rice are the crops leading to the most depletion of groundwater globally. Which is why, since 2009, Lotus Foods has been advocating for changes to how rice is grown, to use less water, which can facilitate groundwater recharge.

Farmer in India Practices Mechanical Weeding

By adopting More Crop Per Drop® growing practices, farmers can reduce their water use by 25-50% and even more, while also increasing their yields. This is how farmers produce Lotus Foods’ Basmati, Jasmine and Tricolor Blend Rice.

QUOTE: By adopting More Crop Per Drop® growing practices, farmers can reduce their water use by 25-50% and even more, while also increasing their yields.

More Crop Per Drop® farmer in East Java.


With climate change and hotter temperatures making crops thirstier, the global community urgently needs to address more sustainable management of the world’s groundwater resources.

Rice Fields in the Makar Mukti village, West Java.


 

Resources

https://www.un-igrac.org/what-groundwater | https://www.usgs.gov/special-topics/water-science-school/science/groundwater-decline-and-depletion
https://www.usgs.gov/special-topics/water-science-school/science/where-earths-water

Pumped Dry: The Global Crisis of Vanishing Groundwater | USA TODAY