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Wells are drying up and underwater tables falling so fast in the Middle East and parts of India, China and the United States that food supplies are seriously threatened, one of the world’s leading resource analysts warned on July 7.

In a major new essay, Lester Brown, head of the Earth Policy Institute in Washington, claims that 18 countries, together containing half the world’s people, are now overpumping their underground water tables to the point — known as “peak water” — where they are not replenishing and where harvests are getting smaller each year.

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