Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Water from Peruvian glaciers to the English dinner table

This story sent by a friend opened my eyes to details that I have kept myself from learning, but is going to become depressingly common. Turns out that Peru is a huge exporter of asparagus...

"Asparagus grown in Peru and sold in the UK is commonly held up as a symbol of unacceptable food miles, but a report has raised an even more urgent problem: its water footprint.


The Ica Valley is a desert area in the Andes and one of the driest places on earth. The asparagus beds developed in the last decade require constant irrigation, with the result that the local water table has plummeted since 2002 when extraction overtook replenishment. In some places it has fallen by eight metres each year, one of the fastest rates of aquifer depletion in the world.

The full story here.

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