Feeding a thirsty world: threats and opportunities for water and food security
SD Scene publishes news and comment on sustainable development from across government, business and civil society. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect government policy.
Feeding a thirsty world: Challenges and opportunities for a water and food secure world, a new report from the Stockholm International Water Institute, outlines major threats and opportunities for water and food security.
Report editor Dr. Anders Jägerskog outlines the challenges facing the world:
“Feeding everyone well is a primary challenge for this century. Overeating, undernourishment and waste are all on the rise and increased food production may face future constraints from water scarcity. We will need a new recipe to feed the world in the future.”
Evidence of increasing water and food challenges
Authored by experts from SIWI, the Food and Agriculture Organizations of the United Nations (FAO) and the International Water Management Institute (IWMI), the report provides new evidence that shows how continuing current trends in food production could lead to increased shortages and intense competition for scarce water resources in many regions across the world.
The report’s chapters examine the following issues:
- Thematic Scope of the 2012 World Water Week
- Food Security: Overcoming Water Scarcity Realities
- Innovations in Agricultural Water Management: New Challenges Require New Solutions
- Women in Agriculture: Closing the Gender Gap for Development
- Food Supply Chain efficiency “From Field to Fork”: Finding a New Formula for a Water and Food Secure World
- early Warning Systems for Water in Agriculture
- Land Deals: A ‘Green Revolution’ in Global Food and energy Markets?
This report is providing input into the discussions at the 2012 World Water Week in Stockholm, which is focusing on the theme of water and food security.
Increasing pressure on water and land
The report notes that 900 million people are hungry and two billion more people are under nourished in spite of the fact that per capita production continues to increase. With 70 per cent of all water withdrawals used in agriculture, growing more food to feed an additional 2 billion people by 2050 will place greater pressure on available water and land.
The authors spotlight a number of essential and largely overlooked challenges where dedicated action can help ensure food security to a growing global population with available water resources. These include improvements in on-farm water efficiency, reductions in losses and waste in the food supply chain, enhanced response networks to early warning systems for agricultural emergencies, and increased investment to close the gender gap in agricultural production.
The report also investigates the impact of the recent surge in foreign direct investment to lease land in developing countries on local and regional water resources, a phenomenon that requires more stringent regulation to ensure that the water and land rights of local farming communities are upheld.
- Feeding a thirsty world: Challenges and opportunities for a water and food secure world: full report available to download
Do you have a comment on this page?
All comments are moderated: we will not publish irrelevant or inappropriate comments. Please note that we require your email to validate your message and will not publish it or use it for any other purpose.