Satellite Evidence on the Trade-offs of the Food-water–air Quality Nexus Over the Breadbasket of India

Mrinal Singha a, Jinwei Dong a, Quansheng Ge a, Graciela Metternicht b, Sangeeta Sarmah a, Geli Zhang c, Russell Doughty d, Sharachchandra Lele e, Chandrashekhar Biradar f, Sha Zhou g, Xiangming Xiao h

Global Environmental Change | November 2021

Access to food, water, and good air quality is indispensable for human life, as reflected in various United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); however, pursuing food security may pose threats to water security and/or air quality. An important case is northwest India including the Punjab and Haryana states, which is the ‘breadbasket’ of India with a significantly increasing paddy rice area. The rapid expansion of rice farming has stressed groundwater resources and impacted air quality. Satellite observations have the potential to provide data for better decisions on food security, water storage, and air pollution, which would be vital for regional sustainable development.