Mar 28, 2015
In year 1900 about 48% of the global area equipped for irrigation was in dry areas, 33% in wet areas with predominantly rice irrigation and 19% in other wet areas. In contrast, only 19% of the global population lived in dry regions while 35% of the global population lived in wet areas with predominantly rice irrigation and 46% in other wet areas.
The pace of irrigation evolution can clearly be divided into 2 eras, with the year 1950 being the breakpoint. Prior to 1950, the area equipped for irrigation gradually increased, whereas since the 1950s the area equipped for irrigation (AEI) increased extremely rapidly until the end of the century before somewhat levelling off within the first 5 years of the 21st century. The global AEI covered an area of 63 Mha in year 1900, nearly doubled to 111 Mha within the first 50 years of the 20th century and approximately tripled within the next 50 years to 306 Mha by year 2005.