Industry catching up in Water-use

A DOUBLING OF industrial demand for water over the next 10 years will have serious implications for farming, a leading scientist warns.

Agriculture is still the biggest user by far, accounting for about 70% of all fresh water use, or 2830cu km a year, Rao Bhamidimarri told delegates at this week”s BCPC seminars.

But industrial users were likely to require 60% more water by 2015, estimated Prof Bhamidimarri of Napier University, Edinburgh. They are also set to pose a far more serious risk to human health through pollution than the current contamination from pesticides, manures and fertilisers. About 80,000 industrial substances were currently in use, the impact of most being completely unknown, he said.

Only 17% of agricultural land was irrigated. But food production needed to double in 30 years to match population growth, so farming”s demands will increase, he said.