California’s Drought Taking a Toll on Hydropower

Low water levels are visible in the Bidwell Marina at Lake Oroville on August 19, 2014, in Oroville, California. Lake Oroville is currently at 32 percent of its total 3,537,577 acre feet. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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Global Threat to Food Supply as Water Wells Dry Up, Warns Top Environment Expert

Lester Brown says grain harvests are already shrinking as US, India and China come close to ‘peak water’

An Iraqi shepherd boy

Iraq is among the countries in the Middle East facing severe water shortages. Photograph: Ali al-Saadi/AFP

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Wells are drying up and underwater tables falling so fast in the Middle East and parts of India, China and the US that food supplies are seriously threatened, one of the world’s leading resource analysts has warned.

In a major new essay Lester Brown, head of the Earth Policy Institute in Washington, claims that 18 countries, together containing half the world’s people, are now overpumping their underground water tables to the point – known as “peak water” – where they are not replenishing and where harvests are getting smaller each year.

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