Untitled Document

Thirsty Crops

 / ©: WWF-India
Sugarcane is one of the heaviest water using crops in the Godavari basin while Cotton is an extremely heavy user of pesticide with consequences of building up of pesticide residue in soil & water.
© WWF-India
Freshwater withdrawals have doubled every 30 years in last 100 years, about 4000 km2 per year at present. In India 80% of the surface water is utilized for agriculture.

Out of 54% of the world's accessible freshwater, 70% consumption is accounted for agricultural purposes. 80% of the water used in agriculture is consumed by thirsty crops.

The Problem

With increasing the food and fibre demands coupled with the degradation quality of freshwater because of the use of excesive chemicals (fertilizers & pesticides/insecticides), the repercussions are bound to be reflected on freshwater biodiversity conservation. It is therefore imperative to design a farming system which is environmentally sustainable.

Sugarcane is one of the heaviest water using crops in the Godavari basin while cotton is an extremely heavy user of pesticides with consequences of building up of pesticide residue in soil & water.

WWF-India has identified "thirsty crops" like sugarcane, cotton and rice, which happen to be major users of water from all forms, to address the impacts of the cultivation of these crop on the available water resources in the Godavari basin.

The "thirsty crop" project aims to reduce the impact of water intensive and polluting crops thereby maintaining sustainable fresh water habitats to support both biodiversity and livelihood.