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World Food Day 2023: Water is life, water is food

Water is vital for life on Earth. It covers most of the planet’s surface, forms more than 50% of our bodies, and is the basis of our food supply.

However, it is a unique and irreplaceable resource whose quantity is limited. There are few places where water is accessible in adequate amounts to meet people’s needs. Water was, and still is, essential for agricultural productivity and contributes significantly to food security.

In this sense, Almar Water Solutions joins the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in its celebration of World Food Day (16 October) to make water accessible to all, to ensure that it is distributed equitably and to achieve the production of food and other essential agricultural products with less water.

This resource’s availability, absence, or scarcity has marked the entire history of humanity and continues to be a significant challenge today. Agriculture accounts for 70% of the freshwater withdrawn worldwide and up to 95% in some developing countries. With 25% of agricultural products grown in highly water-stressed areas, this increases to double if irrigated crops are considered. The fact that producing one kilogram of beef requires approximately 15,000 liters of water, one kilogram of rice requires 2,497 liters, and one kilogram of chocolate requires 17,196 liters of water, coupled with an estimated world population expected to exceed 9 billion by 2050 makes it essential to feed the growing population in a healthy, equitable and sustainable way, while managing water resources more responsibly.

As we have seen, the food we eat and how it is produced affects water. This resource is fundamental to ensuring food security due to its four main uses: primary production, processing operations, as an ingredient, or in cleaning. As the world’s population grows, improving the value chain is vital, i.e., implementing strategies that enable water reuse at all stages of the food process.

Innovative, non-conventional water solutions, such as reuse and desalination, are crucial to producing new water resources. However, changes are needed in financing structures, regulatory frameworks, institutional mandates, and practical and coordinated governance at all levels with integrated management and policies aimed at economic efficiency, social equity, and environmental sustainability.

As water is a scarce resource and will remain critical in the future, non-conventional solutions are vital tools in the fight against climate change. Indeed, securing water and sanitation is a challenge, but food security will not be possible without it.

In this respect, the International Desalination Association (IDA) has an enormous role and responsibility. Coinciding with its 50th anniversary, from 15 to 18 October, it will hold the IDA Seville Summit on Water and Climate Change, where the synergies between mitigation and adaptation to the climate crisis, the use of non-conventional water resources to guarantee long-term water security, the decarbonization of the sector and the need for solutions to ensure food security, among others, will be addressed.

Almar Water Solutions will be a sponsor of the Welcome Reception at the Royal Alcazar Palace, and our CEO, Carlos Cosin, will participate in the panel ” The Acceleration of Solutions for Growing and Critical Water Demands Requires Innovative Approaches to Financing Projects” together with Saroj Kumar Jha, Global Director-Water Global Practice, from the World Bank.

Water is life, water is food. Together, we can take action on water for food and leave no one behind.


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