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Irrigated Saudi wheat field in green circles

Saudi Wells Running Dry of Water — End of Desert Wheat

(Source: Bloomberg, 4 Nov. 2015)

Saudi Arabia “once grew so much of the grain that its exports could feed Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman and Yemen. The circular wheat farms, half a mile across with a central sprinkler system, spread across the desert in the 1980s and 1990s, visible … as green spots amid a dun sea of sand.

“The last wheat farms have just disappeared to save the aquifers supplying them. For the first time, Saudi Arabia will rely almost completely on wheat imports in 2016, a reversal from its policy of self-sufficiency.”

“The kingdom will rely on imports for “100 percent” of its wheat in 2016 for the first time.”

Commentary: many farms in the midwest and western USA also depend on mined water from rapidly depleting underground aquifers.