Monday, November 08, 2004

Irrigate Me! Australia's farmers hog the water

Australia's 6,500 sugarcane farmers use almost two and a half times as much water to grow a crop on which they are unable to make a profit without tariff protection than Australia's 20 million residents use each year to flush their toilets. That should give you an idea of the disparity between urban water usage and water devoted to irrigated farming, a disparity almost as pronounced in the United States as it is in Australia. As The Guardian points out, "The Murray (the equivalent of the Colorado River in the U. S. ) is dying so that Australia can export rice to China."

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