Contrary to popular belief, cotton is a very drought-tolerant plant. And, in fact, the majority of U.S. cotton is produced without applied irrigation—just the water of natural rainfall. When irrigation is used, it simply supplements rainfall during dry periods.
New irrigation systems and strategies used today, particularly in the U.S., are substantially more water efficient than in previous decades. These improved systems aid in land use efficiency by ensuring that the soil is as productive as possible, regardless of changing weather, and contribute to higher and more consistent yields, which helps to manage supply chain expectations, reduce farmers’ risks, and provide essential products.
Today, agriculture accounts for 70% of global water use. Global cotton production makes up 3% of total agricultural water.
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