The Independent's article today was labelled "ethical shopping", and I'll admit that my first response was "Oh dear, I really shouldn't be buying imported vegetables if this is the case." of course, the next second I realised that would be a really bad idea - these are exports that are essential to economy of these countries, and my not purchasing vegetables from overseas would just mean they had less money. But is there something that can be done? Or is permanent environmental damage just inevitable? Is the trade of water possible? Maybe Britain could ship some of it's infamous rain to Kenya, in exchange for some green peppers and tomatoes - except that even Britain is running short on water these days. There has to be some kind of answer which can balance the current needs of people with protecting our future as well, but I can't think of any.
Exporting green and leafy water Agricultural exports, including fresh fruit and vegetables, are an important source of income for many developing countries, but also threaten the future of those same producers. "Irrigated agriculture accounts for 70% of the freshwater used globally", while only a part returns to the environment. It isn't just in Africa; in India and in North America, all over the globe, water supplies are being stretched to the point of near breaking.