World Needs to Produce 60% More Food by 2050 – Yet, Water Resources Are Under Increasing Stress Due to Climate Change, Poor Management and Pollution


Human Wrongs Watch

The world needs to produce an estimated 60 percent more food by 2050 to ensure global food security, and it must do so while conserving and enhancing the natural resource base. Water is a major input in the provision of food – from production in the field through all the steps in the value chain.*

Photo from FAO.

Water is also required to meet personal and household needs, for energy and industrial production, and to maintain important water-dependent ecosystems and ecosystem services.

With demand and competition for water on the rise, however, the planet’s water resources are under increasing stress due to climate change, poor management and pollution.

Photo from FAO.

Agriculture holds the key to successfully achieving the objectives and aspirations articulated in the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement on climate change. It is also crucial to the livelihoods of hundreds of millions of smallholder farmers and rural communities worldwide.

Farmers must be at the centre of any process of change in agriculture. Through appropriate policies that provide incentives and ensure effective governance, farmers can be empowered to conserve biodiversity, protect ecosystems and minimize environmental impacts.

Photo from FAO.

Irrigation institutions must respond to the needs of farmers. Ensuring the reliable delivery of sufficient water, increasing the transparency of irrigation management, and achieving efficiency and equity in access to water is likely to require changes in attitudes in institutions and among farmers, as well as targeted investments in infrastructure modernization, institutional restructuring, and the upgrading of the technical capacities of farmers and water managers.

Countries have identified agriculture as a major sector of intervention in their nationally determined contributions to the mitigation of climate change, and many have placed water at the top of the list for envisaged adaptation measures.

Shaped by these new challenges, FAO’s water programme is responding decisively to the needs of its member countries.

World Water Day 2019 – Leaving no one behind

World Water Day, on 22 March every year, is about focusing attention on the importance of water. This year’s theme, ‘Leaving no one behind’, adapts the central promise of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development that as sustainable development progresses, everyone must benefit.**
Sustainable Development Goal 6 is crystal clear: water for all by 2030. By definition, this means leaving no one behind. But today, billions of people are still living without safe water – their households, schools, workplaces, farms and factories struggling to survive and thrive.
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Marginalized groups – women, children, refugees, indigenous peoples, disabled people and many others – are often overlooked, and sometimes face discrimination, as they try to access and manage the safe water they need.

This World Water Day, 22nd March, is about tackling the water crisis by addressing the reasons why so many people are being left behind. Get familiar with the issues – why are people being left behind without safe water and what can be done to reach them?

Explore this year’s theme and browse our collection of stories to find out more: www.worldwaterday.org

*SOURCE: FAO*

**SOURCE: UN.

2018 Human Wrongs Watch

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