One of the lead stories in this week’s Economist discusses how water is used and managed around the world.
Many development experts are flagging the potential for a global water crisis if better management of our the earth’s water resources is not given more attention. This includes wider application of existing knowledge as well as further innovation in policy-centred management systems and more funding for crop-related research.
Since the mid-20th century, the global population has roughly doubled while water use has trebled. When this trend is paired with a shift in dietary choices toward more water-intensive foods (such as meat), the strain on water resources will increase.
The FAO also predicts that under current conditions, the world’s farmers will need 60% more water to feed the almost 9 billion people expected to be living on the earth. Yet, aid for needed projects such as better irrigation systems has been cut in half over the past generation, according to the OECD.