Water and food security: where to next?

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.

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