event 12 janv. 2022

Report // Optimising the water we eat—rethinking policy to enhance productive and sustainable use of water in agri-food systems across scales

By Stefan Uhlenbrook, Winston Yu, Petra Schmitter, and Douglas Mark Smith. Water is not only essential in agricultural production itself but also needed along the entire food chain. Therefore, the whole food system is an important driver of water use and increasing system efficiency can be achieved through various actions in different sub-components.

Optimizing the water we eat

Summary

Sustainable and resilient food systems depend on sustainable and resilient water management. Resilience is characterised by overlapping decision spaces and scales and interdependencies among water users and competing sectors. Increasing water scarcity, due to climate change and other environmental and societal changes, makes putting caps on the consumption of water resources indispensable. Implementation requires an understanding of different domains, actors, and their objectives, and drivers and barriers to transformational change. We suggest a scale-specific approach, in which agricultural water use is embedded in a larger systems approach (including natural and human systems). This approach is the basis for policy coherence and the design of effective incentive schemes to change agricultural water use behaviour and, therefore, optimise the water we eat.

Published

January 2022

By

The Lancet Planetary Health

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Citation

Uhlenbrook, S., Yu, W., Schmitter, P., & Smith, D. M. (2022). Optimising the water we eat—rethinking policy to enhance productive and sustainable use of water in agri-food systems across scales. The Lancet Planetary Health, 6(1), e59-e65.

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