Irrigation Threatens Aquatic Ecosystems

Industrial agriculture consumes increasing amounts of freshwater (Figure 3). Humans now consume about half of the earth's available freshwater, and 70 percent of that goes to agriculture. When irrigation removes too much water from rivers, streams, and wetlands, habitat for fish and wildlife is depleted or destroyed. In the eighteen U.S. states that depend most on irrigation, 70 percent of the water flowing in streams and rivers has been depleted. Dams and the destruction of aquatic habitat have played a part in severely reducing populations of Pacific Coast salmon as

Figure 3

Global Irrigation 1960-2000

Figure 3 (Accessed July 17, 2002)."/>
Source: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. (Accessed July 17, 2002).

well as steelhead and cutthroat trout in the northwestern United States.

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Worm Farming

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