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Pitch

To ensure water and food security we need to be able to anticipate the likelihood of risk possibilities through cascade of vulnerabilities


Description

Summary

Due to the deep linkage of the water cycle with the carbon, nutrient, and energy cycles, which themselves are also being extensively altered by human action, the impact is extremely pervasive in all of Earth’s systems. In particular, it is important to note that systems with large storage and response times, such as groundwater, are now subject
to rapid changes with potential for affecting climate change . It is, therefore, argued that human action, as it pertains to the water and related earth systems, should be considered intrinsic to the water cycle. This notion brings to the fore that social, institutional, and economic
infrastructure are not simply a response to natural processes for supporting societal use, but they are a major driver of global scale systems.To achieve this goal we need to confrontm prevailing assumptions and address new questions through novel methodologies for measurement, analysis,and prediction.


Category of the action

Mitigation/Adaptation, Changing public attitudes about climate change


What actions do you propose?

A sustainable path to food security will most likely combine improvements in technology, some of them possibly dramatic, with improvements in agricultural management and public policy. These improvements will evolve in a world with a changing climate, changing consumer preferences, a changing energy landscape,and continuing migration from rural to urban environments. It seems likely that the need to produce more food while also protecting natural resources will require significantly more investment in agriculture,including improved infrastructure, farmer education and assistance programs, and research. This could raise food prices compared to current levels but could also generate benefits ranging from improved health and
security to new economic opportunities. It is not easy to predict what will happen but it is apparent that our natural and human resources are substantial. This gives us reason to be cautiously optimistic.

A big question is "Do we have enough land and water resources to feed the Global population?’’ Then it comes on how we manage these resources.

Better characterization of the water resources available for agriculture and of the carrying capacity of agricultural systems; improved understanding of the water requirements of plants and of the processes that affect evapotranspiration; investigation of two-way interactions between agriculture and climate; better understanding of the connections between water resources and natural ecosystems;improvements in the technology and policy considerations that affect water use efficiency; and
development of new data sources that can reduce uncertainty about natural processes relevant to food security.These areas will generally be most effective when they connect with other disciplines so that the many different aspects of food security can be kept in perspective.
Food security involves at least three different requirements. First, global production needs to meet global demand or there will be shortages. This is, of course, a necessary rather than a sufficient condition for security.
In addition, local populations need enough water, land, and nutrient resources to feed themselves or they need an income sufficient to purchase the food they cannot grow. Finally, food production must be
conducted in a way that sustains the environment it depends upon. This implies that the methods used to achieve food security should preserve the quality of water, land, and ecological resources.

It is useful to consider the connection between the global perspective of the first requirement and the local perspective of the second. Many water security analyses focus on regional or local scales. Examples include
studies of China’s groundwater overdraft problems and of droughts in Australia and the western U.S. There is extensive evidence for water scarcity on these scales, although less for water scarcity at the global scale.Similar comments apply to land shortages, which are more important at regional scales than globally. A large fraction of the global population now lives in environments that simply do not have the local resources needed to reliably support a growing population. This includes most residents of large urban areas.

If we demand higher calorie meat-based diets, allow fertile land to degrade, release excessive amounts of nutrients and pesticides into the environment, overdraft groundwater, waste valuable food, and promote unsustainable irrigation projects, we are likely to hit critical resource limits, especially in the world’s poorest regions. But there is no reason to do this. It is quite possible that market forces and technological innovation will enable mankind to increase food production to meet reasonable needs in a sustainable way. Ultimately, the issue
of water and food security is as much about people as about finite resources.


Who will take these actions?

Decision makers, Planners and concerned executive agency


Where will these actions be taken?

Australia and South Asia


What are other key benefits?

Water security is about ensuring the short-term and long-term provision of adequate, affordable, accessible and safe freshwater supply to meet the needs of the growing human population and ecosystems. This canbe achieved through protection and replenishment of existing surface and groundwater resources, increasing water use efficiency through recycling and reuse, developing new supplies, and managing risks from variability and change arising from both natural and anthropogenic drivers. The notion of water security encompasses a variety of water use contexts including consumptive and nonconsumptive use, sanitation, agriculture, energy, poverty and justice, economic development, public and ecosystem health, and risk management. Water security is necessary to ensure economic growth, social wellbeing, and political stability both within and across national boundaries.


What are the proposal’s costs?

 One Hundred and thirty thousand dollar


Time line

short term (5-15 years), medium term (15-50 years), and long term (50-100 years)


Related proposals


References