Asia and the Pacific, 90% of the total diverted freshwater is used to irrigate agriculture, and more than 50% of this is used to irrigate rice. The growing scarcity of water worldwide has started to influence conventional irrigated rice production. By 2025, physical water scarcity will affect an estimated 15 million hectares. Climate change estimates predict the irrigation water deficit and the intensity and frequency of water shortage to deteriorate further. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change estimates that about 1.2 billion people could face freshwater shortages by 2020 and that crop yields in some parts of the region could drop by as much as 30% by 2050. This will impact both irrigated and rain-fed agriculture.
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