|WHY WATER SCARCITY MEANS FOOD SCARCITY|
Aruba, September 3, 2012 - The Chinese middle class is already larger than the entire population of the United States. Africa is not too far behind with a third of its population – nearly 350 million people – having now joined its social middle ranks.
To grow food at the volumes we need to feed the world’s increasing population, and support their improving quality of life, requires a lot of water. This year’s World Water Week in Stockholm is tackling this conundrum: the nexus between water scarcity and food security. Currently over 70 percent of fresh water withdrawals are for the production of food. The growing number of mouths to feed combined with changing lifestyles and diets means that unless there are significant changes in how we produce and consume, our farmers will have to increase production by about 70 percent by 2050. Some straightforward ‘back of envelope’ maths tells us – that’s a problem.
On top of this, climate change is impacting crop yields. Scientists have found that over the last 25 years, the growth in yields has fallen by 10-20 percent in some locations.