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World Water Day 2012: Water and Food Security
wwd 2012Coordinated by FAO Natural Resources Department, through its Land and Water Division, and on behalf of UN-Water members and partners, the World Water Day in 2012 is intended to draw the international attention on the relationships between water & food. Below you may read about some of the messages that will be raised during this exciting campaign.

 During the second half of the 20th century, world population had a twofold increase. Today we are 6.5 billion people on the planet. Expanded irrigated agriculture and agronomic advances has boosted the food production and the agricultural sector. Food production at the turn of this century has more than doubled compared to the situation at the beginning of the 1960s.

There is enough food today to feed the world.
Yet, despite of this, 15 % of the world population (854 million people) is undernourished, and with continuing population growth, rising incomes and urbanization, food demand will roughly double in the next fifty years. Over this period the world's water will have to support the agricultural systems that will feed and create livelihoods for an additional 2.7 billion people.


Today agriculture, farming and growing, accounts for 70% of the total water used on the planet. Agriculture is thereby the largest human use of water. Clearly, agricultural practices need to be targeted on reducing waste of water and so this has been the centre of attention for water saving practices for years.

But there are additional ways to save water. Huge losses and waste of food occur throughout the supply chain i.e. from the produce leave the farmers' fields until it reaches its final destination; in food storage, transportation, food processing, wholesale and retail. Furthermore, vast amounts of food are then wasted in households and restaurants. Every loss or waste of food is equivalent to loss and misuse of water.

Further, since water is part of every food production process, and hence an ever-present building block in everything we consume. Whether we are biting into a banana or a slice of pizza, we are biting into something that has used water for its growth or production. With regards to this, itīs worth bearing in mind that animal-based food require a larger amount of water per kilo ready-to-eat product than fruits and vegetables do. A lower animal protein diet will need less water to be sustained.


In August a first workshop was hosted during the World Water Week in Stockholm to address the status and prospects for food security and illustrate the water-related implications.

frecciaListen to the session and watch the presentations
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