This year, the focus is on the critical role water plays in food security. Some facts about the world’s fresh water supply:
Water is scarce in some places because farmers are pumping it out of the ground faster than it can recharge, according to the head of water policy for the US State Department, Aaron Salzberg.
“The groundwater is getting depleted to the point where that will have an impact on food security,” he says. “If you look at India, for example, in the breadbasket up in the northwestern part of the country, over-extraction is a huge, huge issue and this is going to start to play a role in their ability to produce food and to meet their internal needs.”
Over-extracting groundwater for irrigation is also a huge issue in major farming regions of China, the United States and elsewhere.
There are 7 billion people to feed on the planet today and another 2 billion are expected to join by 2050. Statistics say that each of us drinks from 2 to 4 litres of water every day, however most of the water we ‘drink’ is embedded in the food we eat: producing 1 kilo of beef for example consumes 15,000 litres of water while 1 kilo of wheat ’drinks up’ 1,500 litres.
When a billion people in the world already live in chronic hunger and water resources are under pressure we cannot pretend the problem is ‘elsewhere’.
So what can you do about it? Here is a start:
- follow a healthier, sustainable diet
- consume less water-intensive products
- reduce the scandalous food wastage: 30% of the food produced worldwide is never eaten and the water used to produce it is definitively lost!
- do your part to empower and support farmers around the world
- encourage your community to take the lead in securing their own water future
- petition the private sector to do their part – many companies have core business interests that are related to water issues, but even in industries that seem disconnected from water can have a significant impact
The water that we use today has been circulating through the earth since time began, and it must sustain humanity for as long as we live on this earth. A sustainable supply of water is a priority for everyone on the planet. See the video below for more information, and please share this post and spread the word!