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  1. 3/9/2012 WORLD WATER DAY 2012: WATER AND FOOD SECURITY
  2. World Water Day takes place annually on 22 March.  It focuses the attention of the world on the importance of freshwater resources in our lives.  In 2012, the theme is "Water and Food Security" and it is coordinated by Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) on behalf of UN-Water.
     
    The World Water Day in 2012 is intended to increase people’s awareness on the importance of the relationships between water and food security.  “Food security exists when all people, at all times, have physical, social and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life” and water is one of the fundamental input factors to food production.
     
    Food security has been raising the international political agenda following the peak prices of 2008 and the financial crisis of 2009.  Since then, the raising commodity price level continued volatility have destabilized food security in several countries.  Future population growth, urbanization, changing diets and development pressure on land and water (including resources allocated to biofuel production) and energy cost increases are all conducive to a progressive and severe water scarcity that will in turn undermine the food security. At the same time, climate changes are expected to impact the most food insecure populations first.
     
    The link between food and water
     
    During the second half of the 20th century, world population had a twofold increase.  Today there are 6.5 billion people on the planet.  Expanded irrigated agriculture and agronomic advances have boosted the food production and the agricultural sector.  Food production at the turn of this century has more than doubled compared to the situation at the beginning of the 1960s.
     
    There is enough food today to feed the world.  Yet, despite of this, 15 % of the world population (854 million people) is undernourished, and with continuing population growth, rising incomes and urbanization, food demand will roughly double in the next fifty years.  Over this period the world's water will have to support the agricultural systems that will feed and create livelihoods for an additional 2.7 billion people.
     
    Today agriculture, farming and growing, accounts for 70% of the total water used on the planet.  Agriculture is thereby the largest human use of water.  Clearly, agricultural practices need to be targeted on reducing waste of water but there are also additional ways to save water.
     
    Huge losses and waste of food occur throughout the supply chain i.e. from the produce leave the farmers' fields until it reaches its final destination; in food storage, transportation, food processing, wholesale and retail.  Furthermore, vast amounts of food are then wasted in households and restaurants.  Every loss or waste of food is equivalent to loss and misuse of water.
     
    Furthermore, water is part of every food production process, and hence an ever-present building block in everything we consume.  Whether we are biting into a banana or a slice of pizza, we are biting into something that has used water for its growth or production.
     
    To receive additional information on World Water Day and why water is a key to food security, please visit the organization’s website here.