Breadbasket Aquifer Running Dry; Massive Agriculture Collapse Inevitable
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It's the largest
underground freshwater supply in the world, stretching from South
Dakota all the way to Texas. It's underneath most of Nebraska's
farmlands, and it provides crucial water resources for farming in
Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma and even New Mexico. It's called the
Ogallala Aquifer, and it is being pumped dry.
See the map
of this aquifer here.
Without the Ogallala Aquifer, America's heartland food production
collapses. No water means no irrigation for the corn, wheat,
alfalfa and other crops grown across these states to feed people
and animals. And each year, the Ogallala Aquifer drops another few
inches as it is literally being sucked dry by the tens of thousands
of agricultural wells that tap into it across the heartland of America.
with all this is that the Ogallala Aquifer isn't being recharged
in any significant way from rainfall or rivers. This is so-called
"fossil water" because once you use it, it's gone. And it's disappearing
now faster than ever.
In some regions along the aquifer, the water level has dropped so
far that it has effectively disappeared places like Happy,
Texas, where a once-booming agricultural town has collapsed
to a population of just 595. All the wells drilled there in the
1950's tapped into the Ogallala Aquifer and seemed to provide abundant
water at the time. But today the wells have all run dry.
has become a place of despair. Dead cattle. Wilted crops. Once-moist
soils turned to dust. And Happy is just the beginning of this story
because this same agricultural tragedy will be repeated across
Oklahoma, Nebraska, Kansas and parts of Colorado in the next
few decades. That's a hydrologic fact. Water doesn't magically reappear
in the Ogallala. Once it's used up, it's gone.
"There used to be 50,000 head of cattle, now there's 1,000," says
Horner in a Telegraph report. "Grazed them on wheat,
but the feed lots took all the water so we can't grow wheat. Now
the feed lots can't get local steers so they bring in cheap unwanted
milking calves from California and turn them into burger if they
can't make them veal. It doesn't make much sense. We're heading
back to the Dust Bowl."
The end of
cheap food in America?
It's a sobering
thought, really: That "America's breadbasket" is on a collision course
with the inevitable. A large percentage of the food produced in the
United States is, of course, grown on farmlands irrigated from the
Ogallala. For hundreds of years, it has been a source of "cheap water,"
making farming economically feasible and keeping food prices down.
Combined with the available of cheap fossil fuels over the last century
(necessary to drive the tractors that work the fields), food production
has skyrocketed in North America. This has led to a population
explosion, too. Where food is cheap and plentiful, populations
It only follows that when food becomes scarce or expensive (putting
it out of reach of average income earners), populations will fall.
There's only so much food to go around, after all. And after the Ogallala
runs dry, America's food production will plummet. Starvation will
become the new American landscape for those who cannot afford the
sky-high prices for food.
is a global problem
It's not a problem
that's unique to America, by the way. The very same problem is facing
India, where fossil water is already running dry in many parts of
the country. It's the same story in China, too, where water conservation
has never been a top priority. Even the Middle East is facing its
water crisis. This has caused food prices to skyrocket, leading
directly to the civil unrest, the riots and even the revolutions we've
seen taking place there over the last few months.
The problem is called aquifer
depletion, and it's a problem that spans the globe. It means
that today's cheap, easy food grown on cheap fossil water
simply isn't sustainable. Once that water is gone, the croplands that
depend on it dry up. Following that, erosion kicks in, and the winds
blow away the dry soils in a "Dust Bowl" type of scenario.
A few years after that, what was once a thriving agricultural operation
is transformed into a dry, soilless death pit where nothing lives.
"The Ogallala supply is going to run out and the Plains will become
uneconomical to farm," says
David Brauer of the Ogallala Research Service, part of the USDA.
"That is beyond reasonable argument. Our goal now is to engineer a
soft landing. That's all we can do."
Such is the legacy of conventional agriculture, which is based
almost entirely on non-sustainable practices. Its insane reliance
on fossil water, petroleum fertilizers, toxic pesticides and GMOs
will only lead our world to agricultural disaster.
and be safe
I want all NaturalNews
readers to be prepared, informed and safe when facing our uncertain
future. We know that trouble is stirring around the world, and much
of it is either caused by or will lead to food shortages.
The GMO companies, of course, will exploit this situation to their
advantage, claiming that only GMOs can grow enough food to feed the
world. This is a lie. GMOs and patented seeds only enslave
the world population and lead to great social injustice. The days
of food slavery are fast approaching for those who do not have
the means to grow at least a portion of their own food.
As part of our
effort to help people become more self-reliant with greater
food security throughout 2011 and 2012 I plan to bring you
more articles, videos and webcast events that focus on home food
production, self-reliance, family preparedness and sustainable
living. Recently we announced a live webcast event on financial
preparedness but the available seats at that event sold out
in a matter of days.
Based on the huge demand for this event, we have decided to roll out
a second preparedness event in April, focused on food preparedness
and security. Watch for an announcement on that soon.
In the mean time, I am personally working on growing more of my
own food and will be creating a new series of videos and articles
based on some of what I learn along the way. From living in South
America and producing quite a large amount of food there, I have a
fair amount of experience on home food production, but of course there's
always more to learn, right?
My gut feeling on all this is that learning to grow and store some
portion of your own food is going to become a crucial survival
skill over the next few years. And that means understanding water,
soil, open-pollinated seeds, organic fertilizers, soil probiotics,
insect pollination, growing with the seasons, sprouting, food harvesting,
food drying, canning, storage and much more. It's a whole set of skills
that have faded away in America in just two generations, leaving very
few people who now know how to live off their own land.
What's becoming increasingly obvious from events such as the drying
up of aquifers is that home food production is going to become
a critical survival skill. I want NaturalNews readers to know
and practice these skills as much as possible so that you can experience
the comforts (and freedoms!) of genuine food security.
with permission from Natural
March 15, 2011
Mike Adams is a natural health author and award-winning
journalist. He has authored and published thousands of articles,
interviews, consumers' guides, and books on topics like health and
the environment. He is the editor of Natural
© 2011 Natural
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