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Researchers hack plants to use less water so we don’t starve when climate change hits hard

Anthropic climate change is already barring its fangs at us, and they are dry indeed. A preview of what’s in store is recently unfolded in Cape Town, South Africa.

The Western Cape region of South Africa has been experiencing severe droughts since 2015, and because of that, the city is realistically looking at a Day Zero scenario — a day where the municipal water supply will be dry as bone.

That situation could become common in many parts of the world, at least until water cycles set down into their new mold. Until then, it’s vital that we ensure there’s enough water for everyone to drink.

A team of researchers from the University of Illinois, Urbana are trying to reduce the amount of water we use on our crops.

In a new paper, they report having genetically engineered a prototype tobacco crop that uses 25% less water for essentially the same harvest.

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