Entering the 21st century, we face two major and closely related challenges with regard to water:
_____1._ How do we divide a fixed amount of water among a variable and growing number of users?
_____2._ How do we manage water in response to climate change?
Climate change is not just “one more pressure” on water - it’s a wake-up call.
It’s time to change the way we think about water now, or suffer increasingly severe consequences in the decades ahead. With each passing year we gather more evidence of changes in weather and climate patterns.
A growing threat to food-security:
What is less visible, but no less alarming, is the growing threat to our capacity to produce enough food under new and uncertain climate conditions. Food production and food prices are pillars of social stability. If we compromise the ability of hundreds of millions of small farmers to grow enough food to feed us all, we are courting a grim future. Let’s not go there.
Given the reality of increased water scarcity and variability, we need to seriously rethink how we manage water for agricultural production and integrate these solutions with domestic, industrial and environmental uses.