Between 30% and 50% of the world’s water supply is stolen each year, mainly by agricultural interests and farmers, yet the crime itself is not well understood, a new international study led by the University of Adelaide says.

The lead author, Dr Adam Loch, from the university’s Centre for Global Food and Resources, said there was a lack of data around water theft partly because those stealing the resource were often poor, vulnerable and at-risk in developing countries.

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