This is yet another example of the tragedy of the commons: 18 nations that altogether make up half the world’s population — including the US, China, and India — are reaching “peak water,” in which their fresh water supplies are set to decline if no action is taken to preserve them.
According to a study that is cited and hyperlinked in the article, grain harvests are already declining in these nations, some of which are major global sources of food. If legal and regulatory action isn’t taken soon, or if agricultural industries don’t reign in on their use, we’re going to face a major global food crisis.
Note that food production is already being threatened by the impact of climate change. Solutions like desalination, communalization of water resources, or creating higher crop yields with less inputs will all help — but they’ll also require tremendous amounts of money, regulation, and public support…and the political will is lacking.