Water crises and food security in the context of controlled environment agriculture

As the world reflects on the outcomes of last week’s United Nations 2023 Water Conference in New York, one thing is clear: there cannot be lasting food security for all without much greater water use efficiency in the production, transformation, and distribution of food.

Agriculture is the largest water use sector in the global economy, responsible for 70 percent of all water withdrawals(1). But up to half of that water is ‘wasted’(2): it is not taken up by crops or livestock but evaporates from bare soil or runs off into rivers as wastewater, causing pollution downstream.   

This isn’t sustainable today and will be even less so going forward. The global demand for water is set to increase by 20-30% by 2050 as population growth, urbanization, and rising affluence drive dietary preferences and push up the demand for food(3). The supply of water will, at the same time, become more erratic in many regions as groundwater resources deplete while river and lake levels fluctuate(4).

Climate change due to planetary warming is real and deeply interacting with water, agricultural prospects, and food. Agriculture has always been challenged by too much water when not wanted and too little when needed, but the frequency and intensity of adverse events are getting worse.

Read more at linkedin.com

Publication date:

Receive the daily newsletter in your email for free | Click here

Other news in this sector:

Sign up for our daily Newsletter and stay up to date with all the latest news!

Subscribe I am already a subscriber

You are using software which is blocking our advertisements (adblocker).

As we provide the news for free, we are relying on revenues from our banners. So please disable your adblocker and reload the page to continue using this site.

Click here for a guide on disabling your adblocker.