Agriculture holds the key to tackling water scarcity
Water of appropriate quality and quantity is essential for the production of crops, livestock, and fisheries, as well as for the processing and preparation of these foods and products.
Additionally, climate change will have significant impacts on agriculture by increasing water demand, limiting crop productivity, and reducing water availability in areas where irrigation is most needed or has a comparative advantage.
What can agriculture do to address water scarcity in the context of climate change, while ensuring food and nutrition security?
What responses can the agriculture and food sectors offer to alleviate the impacts – and reduce the risks – of water scarcity?
In a bid to tackle the impact of global water scarcity, FAO launched the Global Framework for Action to Cope with Water Scarcity in Agriculture in the Context of Climate Change.
Agriculture holds the key to coping with water scarcity as it is responsible for 70% of all freshwater withdrawals.
The sustainable intensification of food production, with more efficient water management systems adapted to climate variability and local circumstances, can help increase water productivity and raise on-farm incomes.
The initiative will focus on a range of important thematic areas to address issues of water scarcity in agriculture, including: Sustainable improvements of agricultural water productivity, cutting across all agricultural subsectors, from crop to livestock production, aquaculture and agroforestry, based on introduction of best practices in soil and water management, complementary afforestation, and sustainable grazing management.
Modernization and development of multipurpose and climate proofing irrigation infrastructure are considered also as important action areas to improve the efficiency of water use in agriculture while adapting to climate change impacts.
In the situation of growing water scarcity, in many countries food security will increasingly depend on food trade.