World’s Population to See Severe Water Stress by 2030; China Scrapping Corn Stockpiling Plan
A report by the United Nations Environment Program says almost half of the world's population will suffer severe water stress by 2030. The report finds that as the global population rises, increased urbanization, climate change and a shift in how food is consumed are likely to increase future demand for water. Under current trends, demand for water will exceed supply by 40 percent in 2030, forcing governments to spend $200 billion per year on upstream water supply as demand outstrips cheaper forms of supply. The report mentions that the agricultural sector accounts for 70 percent of all global freshwater withdrawals.
Reports from Chinese media indicate the nation will scrap its corn stockpiling scheme and will instead allow the market to determine domestic corn prices. A Chinese television station reports that China will directly subsidize farmers and stop stockpiling grain beginning this fall. Beijing has made no official announcement regarding any such change, though there has been talk the country would shift to a more market-driven policy.