The future of food security depends on achieving maximum efficiency in agricultural water use. Nearly three quarters of the freshwater we withdraw is used for crops and livestock. Irrigating efficiently and developing low water footprint methods will enable us to cope with the water stress that climate change is only increasing.
Rainfall is a critical parameter in the global economic balance. Droughts are more damaging in the most disadvantaged economies, and their negative impact is magnified where there has been less rainfall in the past. Rainfall variability, generated by global warming, adds uncertainty. A recent World Bank study alerts us and provides an alternative vision for moving forward.
Water stress is increasingly present all across the world. If we do not take measures in the short term, the situation will be critical by the middle of this century and will seriously threaten the world's geopolitical balance. The data are compelling. Demographics, the growth of extractivism, and climate change are against us. On the positive side, we have the growing awareness of governments and companies and increasingly knowledgeable citizens.
The urgency of finding new forms of collaboration was a recurring message at World Water Week. We have exceeded the planetary water limits, and the need for a change of mindset in innovation and governance must involve all sectors and all countries.
The climate crisis expresses itself through water. Droughts, floods, desertification, melting ice... These phenomena challenge our capacity to adapt and directly affect most SDGs. We must place water at the center of all strategies to achieve resilience.
Two new projects in India further train women to understand the water cycle, manage water resources and maintain water supply facilities. Freed from having to fetch water, women provide crucial support that multiplies the benefits for the community and increases its resilience to climate impacts.
Freshwater resources are diminishing. Poor management and global warming are the leading causes. Large-scale investment in access to water and sanitation and prevention of impacts such as droughts and floods must be mobilized. The benefits will be financial and human.
The IPCC forecasts continue to be fulfilled, and droughts are affecting regions where they were rare. The Mediterranean Basin, especially in its western area, is experiencing an exceptional lack of rainfall. A new climatic frontier is emerging there, and the solutions generated will be of utmost importance for future water management on Earth.
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