Water for food security and nutrition

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Abstract

Water is key to human life. It is key to human food security and nutrition. Safe drinking water and sanitation are fundamental to the good nutrition, health and dignity of all. According to the latest estimates by WHO/UNICEF, in 2011, 36 per cent of the world’s population – 2.5 billion people – lacked improved sanitation facilities, and 768 million people had to rely on unsafe drinking water sources. Water of sufficient quantity and quality is essential for agricultural production and for the preparation and processing of food. Irrigated agriculture accounts for 70 percent of all water withdrawals globally (surface and groundwater). 40 percent of irrigation uses groundwater sources, some of them non-renewable at human time scale. Climate change will alter the geographic and seasonal patterns of precipitations, with impacts on agriculture. How can the world ensure food and nutrition security given increasingly scarce water resources, especially in some regions, and the increasing competition for water uses? This policy-oriented report from the High Level Panel of Experts on Food Security and Nutrition (HLPE) presents a synthesis of existing evidence on the multiple relations between water and food security and nutrition, from global levels to household levels. The aim of this report, given the diversity of contexts, is to help all concerned actors to improve water management, and management of agricultural and food systems for water, and to improve water governance, given the overarching need to ensure provision and access to safe drinking water for all, good sanitation, and maximize the contribution of water to food security and nutrition for all, now and in the future. Publisher statement: This report by the High Level Panel of Experts on Food Security and Nutrition (HLPE) has been approved by the HLPE Steering Committee. The views expressed do not necessarily reflect the official views of the Committee on World Food Security, of its members, participants, or of the Secretariat. This report is made publicly available and its reproduction and dissemination is encouraged. Non- commercial uses will be authorised free of charge, upon request. Reproduction for resale or other commercial purposes, including educational purposes, may incur fees. Applications for permission to reproduce or disseminate this report should be addressed by e-mail to copyright@fao.org with copy to cfs-hlpe@fao.org.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationRome
PublisherHigh Level Panel of Experts on Food Security and Nutrition of the Committee on World Food Security
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Bibliographical note

Authors:
Per Pinstrup-Andersen,
Maryam Rahmanian,
Amadou Allahoury,
Marion Guillou,
Sheryl Hendriks,
Joanna Hewitt,
Masa Iwanaga,
Carol Kalafatic,
Bernardo Kliksberg,
Renato Maluf,
Sophia Murphy,
Ruth Oniang’o,
Michel Pimbert,
Magdalena Sepúlveda,
Huajun Tang,
Lyla Mehta,
Oscar Cordeiro-Netto,
Theib Oweis,
Claudia Ringler,
Barbara Schreiner,
Shiney Varghese,
Vincent Gitz

Please reference this report as HLPE, 2015. Water for food security and nutrition. A report by the High Level Panel of Experts on Food Security and Nutrition of the Committee on World Food Security, Rome 2015.
The full text is available free from the link given. A full list of authors and their positions is also provided.
This report by the High Level Panel of Experts on Food Security and Nutrition (HLPE) has been approved by the HLPE Steering Committee.
The views expressed do not necessarily reflect the official views of the Committee on World Food Security, of its members, participants, or of the Secretariat.
This report is made publicly available and its reproduction and dissemination is encouraged. Non- commercial uses will be authorised free of charge, upon request. Reproduction for resale or other commercial purposes, including educational purposes, may incur fees. Applications for permission to reproduce or disseminate this report should be addressed by e-mail to copyright@fao.org with copy to cfs-hlpe@fao.org.

Keywords

  • water
  • food security
  • climate change
  • water management

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  • Cite this

    HLPE (2015). Water for food security and nutrition. Rome: High Level Panel of Experts on Food Security and Nutrition of the Committee on World Food Security.