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University of Illinois Study Finds Decline in Agricultural Water Use

A comprehensive University of Illinois study looked at water withdrawals in U.S. agriculture and food production from 1995 to 2010, and found an 8.3% decline in use of water for irrigation during this period. However, the savings were not evenly distributed across crop types. For example, oilseed crops experienced a 98% increase in water demand over the period, even as water use in cereal grains, fruits, and vegetables declined due to irrigation efficiency improvements. This analysis considered water use at all stages in the supply chain.