Over two thousand politicians, CEOs, scientists and leaders of international organisations from more than 100 nations are gathering in Stockholm, Sweden, for the annual World Water Week, which this year focuses on “Water and Food Security”.
Today, over 900 million people suffer from hunger, and two billion more face serious health risks from undernourishment.
At the same time, 1.5 billion people overeat and over one-third of all food is lost or wasted. Demand for food and fibre is projected to increase by 70 per cent by mid-century and, without intervention, untenable pressure on water resources in many regions in the world will threaten food and water security.
“More than one-fourth of all the water we use worldwide is taken to grow over onebillion tons of food that nobody eats. That water, together with the billions of dollars spent to grow, ship, package and purchase the food, is sent down the drain.” said Torgny Holmgren, Executive Director of the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI). “Reducing the waste of food is the smartest and most direct route to relieve pressure on water and land resources. It’s an opportunity we cannot afford to overlook,” he added.
“Throughout the world, 2.6 billion small-scale producers till the land, raise animals and fish. They are the main providers of food in the developing world. If we want them to produce more sustainably, preserving natural resources, adapting to and contributing to the mitigation of climate change, we need to help them. We cannot expect them to do it alone.”