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Living with water scarcity -- world must act now

Only if we act to improve water use in agriculture now will we meet the acute water-environment-poverty challenges facing humankind over the next 50 years. "With earth's water, land and human resources it is possible to produce enough food for the future ?but it is probable that today's food production and environmental trends will lead to crises in many parts of the world" says David Molden Deputy Director General of the International Water Management Institute.

This is the opening prognosis given in the Earthscan publication Water for Food, Water for Life: A Comprehensive Assessment of Water Management in Agriculture released today to coincide with World Water Day.

The Assessment, the first of its kind, brings together the work of over 700 specialists from hundreds of institutes around the world into the most comprehensive and authoritative assessment of water and food ever written, critically examining policies and practices of water use and development in the agricultural sector over the last 50 years.

Spearheaded by International Water Management Institute (IWMI), one of 15 CGIAR agricultural research centres striving to increase food production, increase rural incomes, and safeguard the environment, the report is co-sponsored by the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), FAO, the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, and the Convention on Biological Diversity in a bid to find solutions to the challenge of balancing the water-food-environment needs

The assessment finds that 1/3 of the world’s population live in areas where water scarcity must be reckoned with. While much of this water scarcity cannot be avoided, water problems can be averted through better water management. For example:

A litre per calorie. A main driver of water use and scarcity comes from us ?and what we eat. As a rule of thumb, about one litre of liquid water gets converted to water vapor to produce one calorie of
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Source:International Water Management Institute


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