Water and food security: where to next?
Event

Live Discussion // Water and food security: where to next?

What are the next steps in addressing the world's water, energy and food challenges and how can nexus-thinking help? The Guardian stages a live discussion reflecting on conversations at World Water Week, Thursday 6 September, 2-4pm (BST)

Water, food and energy; the three, interconnected resources vital to sustaining life on earth. Yet every year, 1.1 billion people live without clean drinking water, 1.3 people billion live without electricity and over 1 billion people are hungry. As the world's population expands to nine billion by 2050, these statistics will only get worse if action is not taken to address the effects of an increasingly unpredictable climate and tense socio-economic and political landscapes on the world's key resources. <<--->> So what can be done?

This is the focus of the cross sector community gathered at World Water Week in Stockholm; how can new thinking around the food, water and energy nexus help drive action on these interwoven issues? In particular, what can be done to tackle the increasing imbalance of food and water resources so that no one goes without?

The complex nature of the nexus is clear; the three elements are interdependent and have knock-on effects on each other. For a farmer to increase crop yields, more energy and water are required, but to generate this additional energy, yet more water is needed to cool the power plant. This reflects a network of reliance that exists beyond production stages.

Leading water experts have predicted that if current diets and trends in Western food consumption continue, there will not be enough water on croplands to feed the increased population in 2050. The research, conducted by Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI), finds that a drastic reduction in the consumption of animal-based products will be needed to secure food the extra 2 billion people on the planet.

The availability and use of resources must be viewed through this dynamic kaleidoscope for sustainable solutions at a local, national or global scale to be successful.

Discussion at World Water Week is focused on this complex landscape, shaped by the constraints of the planet versus the demands of humanity. Academics, scientists, governments, NGOs and businesses have come together to share their insights and ideas on:

-Increasing efficiency in food production

-Linking the effects of food production with human health

-Addressing food wastage throughout the supply chain

-Recognising the water-food-energy nexus

-Balancing food distribution

Our live discussion will focus on the latest thinking to come out of World Water Week and reflect on the action that needs to be taken by all sectors, from businesses to NGOS, and governments to individuals, to address challenges around food and water. Our panel of experts will join us on Thursday 6 September from 2-4pm (BST) to answer your questions and share their thoughts and ideas. Register for a reminder or submit a question in advance via the form below. You can also send us a tweet and we'll post it for you.

› back

Stockholm World Water Week (SWWW) 2019

Stockholm World Water Week 2019

In 2019, World Water Week will explore an inclusive approach. This week’s theme: “Water and society – including all” is recognizing that not everybody is impacted in the same way by too little, too much or too dirty water. Less obvious than last year, the Nexus approach will remain at the heart of the water debate, especially through the seminar topic "Addressing migration through regional integration and water security for all", that explicitly connects water, energy and food security as the...

// more
Migration

SWWW 2019 Seminar // Addressing Migration through Regional Integration and Water Security for All

Regional economic integration can foster transboundary water management as well as energy and food security. It also attracts investments that address infrastructure deficits, accelerates participation in global and regional value chains, and stimulates economic growth. All are important entry points for sustainable development. However, environmental and social co-benefits are typically not as well quantified as economic growth.

// more
Hydropower

Special Session at 38th IAHR World Congress // Sustainable Water Storage to Meet Water, Food, and Energy Development Goals

Storage to stabilize water availability is essential to sustain water, food and energy production, reduce hazards, and adapt to climate change. Regulation of water resources using dams and reservoirs played a major role in the socio-economic development of northern countries during the 20th century, but practices of the time often led to undesired environmental and social impacts. Thousands more dams and reservoirs are planned for construction in the next decades, mainly in Asia, Africa, and...

// more