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SOURCE: Fortune

DATE: March 4, 2019

SNIP: Government-backed research on watersheds in the U.S. provide a dire outlook for the future: population growth and climate change are likely to cause “serious water shortages” within the next 55 years, says the study.

As both demand and water evaporation increase, up to 96 of the 204 water basins that provide fresh water to Americans are projected to have monthly shortages by 2071, researchers reported in their study, published Thursday in Earth’s Future.

Irrigated agriculture is responsible for over 75% of annual consumption in most water basins, according to the researchers. If farmers were to reduce irrigation for their crops, particularly crops grown for animal feed or biofuel, the researchers’ computer models show some hope for fewer shortages.