(NaturalNews) As the world's population increases, so too does its need for food and water - the two resources which are absolutely necessary to sustain life. And as it happens, one is needed to grow the other, so it should alarm you to know that the country with the largest population - China - is is running out of water, according to some experts, which will dramatically affect its ability to feed its 1.3 billion people.
The Asian giant has been warned by one of its own groundwater experts to either cut its food production or else face "dire" waterlevels, especially in the dry northwest plains. If not, aquifers will sink to "dire" levels not seen in 30 years.
"The government must adopt a new policy to reduce water consumption," said Zheng Chunmiao, director of the Water Research Centre at
"The main thing is to reduce demand. We have relied too much on engineering projects, but the government realizes this is not a long-term solution," he added.
But how does a country the size of
"The water situation in the
That's not a popular prospect for a nation struggling to emerge from centuries of second-class status. And yet, according to Zheng's estimates, that may be the only choice to avoid mass starvation.
He says the country has to increasingly rely on underground water sources to meet its demands - 70 percent of it now comes from underground, he said. That has had a dramatic effect on a number of aquifers, many of which are emptying at an alarming pace.
In the meantime, the government plans to implement efficiency measures, but few think that is anything but a stopgap measure. That's because usage is occurring faster than replenishment.
In and around Chifeng city, in northern
And the problem is spreading. In fact, hundreds of Chinese cities are facing water shortages.
"Swelling numbers of Chinese can now afford piped water, private bathrooms, washing machines, homes with gardens, cars that need washing, and more food, which needs growing. Buying power also has led to a growing number of golf courses, and ski resorts that use man-made snow," CNN reported.