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FocusWorld Water Forum : Time for solutions

Why is this issue so important?

21/02/2012

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Water is life, and thus also is food : we cannot actually produce food without water and the process takes much more water than what is generally believed : 1,500 litres for 1 kg flour, 3,000 l / day to feed a human being.

The issue of "water for food" is now increasingly central to food security. Without better management, poverty and social and political instability will increase.

The challenge at the global level is to reduce poverty and hunger, to feed every day an extra 180,000 people, to increase food production by 70% by 2050, to adapt to new situations for energy and climate , to avoid excessive deforestation and to prevent riots and instability. Since it would be expensive and highly hazardous to continue wasting or degrading such vital resources as water, land, soil, .. which will be increasingly valuable, it is necessary to succeed in the task of producing both "more and better".

The challenges are primarily regional and local. Several "hot spots" and large parts of the world, are vulnerable to climate change and they already suffer from serious and growing problems including water shortages, overexploitation of aquifers, erosion and desertification, pollution, droughts and floods, rural poverty.

Better conserve, enhance and mobilize resources to produce "more and better"

To achieve better management for “water for food” is a necessity to reduce hunger (700 million among the one billion hungry people live in rural areas), prevent risks, produce environmental services (conservation of water and soil, "producing " water for other users, store carbon ...) for the benefit of the whole society and to improve incomes and access to food for vulnerable rural populations.

These regional challenges go also inter-regional. Because they lack water and / or land, several world regions with high population growth will indeed have to import much more. Food dependency in three regions-South Asia and East, Middle East-North Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa-(although the latter does have some land and water resources) could increase fourfold between 2000 and 2050. The countries and regions rich in water in greater Europe (including Russia, Ukraine) and in the Americas, will also have to conserve, enhance and mobilize their resources more effectively to produce "more and better".

Water and food security faced with global change : challenges and solutions {PDF}Water and food security faced with global change : challenges and solutions (PDF - 3.1 Mo)
(©Kawensky)