Water resources and cotton plantation SCARY NUMBERS (from a discussion)

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Date 2011-02-12 04:19:25
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All of Syria's cotton production is done on irrigated lands, not rain fed.
Of Syria's estimated 13 billion m3 of irrigation water more than 4 billion m3 is used to grow cotton.
A cotton t-shirt requires about 2.7 tons of water to produce.
Cotton requires four times as much water to grow as wheat.
Syria's emphasis on irrigation has been wrong. Syria should invest in improving the yield of rain fed lands.
There was a threefold increase in the productivity of water in rain fed wheat production in north-west Europe between 1800 and 1950. And a further trebling by 1990.
The Tabqa Dam is an economic disaster. The yes-men around Hafiz Asad lacked the balls to stop an ignorant military officer from wasting billions of dollars on a white elephant, made by his propagandist to be one genius of a project.
The World Bank concluded that Syria's government will need to recognize that achieving food security with respect to wheat and other cereals in the short-term as well as the encouragement of water-intensive cotton appear to be
undermining Syria's security over the long-term by depleting available groundwater resources.

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