Tim Brown on Current Water Crisis
The single biggest crisis on the globe today is the lack of clean water, both for human consumption and agriculture. Water scarcity is one of the main reasons for increased tension between food supply and demand.
Governments need to take the lead in devising credible, cost-effective strategies to address water shortages. Businesses, society and other stakeholders must be prepared to take greater responsibility for this urgent problem.
If something isn’t given a value, people tend to waste it. Water is our most useful resource, but those using it often don’t even cover the costs of its infrastructure. Fresh water is being massively overused at nature’s expense, but it seems only a global crisis will make us realize the importance of the issue. “What is environmentally unsustainable today will become socially unsustainable in the future”
Much research has been done to improve the drought tolerance of many plants, as well as developing techniques that allow farmers to reduce their water withdrawals, but implementation has been slow.
We must convince food producers to adopt more sustainable practices.
Plants only need about 40–50% of the actual amount of water withdrawn for agriculture today, so there still huge potential to make savings.