Preparing for a thirsty future

The International Water Management Institute had 500 scientists examine the water we use for agriculture. Their report took five years. They found that we will not have enough water to supply global demand for food over the next few decades unless urgent and substantial reforms in water and agriculture are undertaken. Climate change will make this situation happen more quickly and to a worse degree. The latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report says that if global average temperature rises by 3 degrees, hundreds of millions of people will be exposed to increased water stress. It provides the wake-up call we all need to start acting on water. We can see this crisis unfolding over the next several years. A perfect storm is approaching. And all this sits on top of the morally indefensible situation of today where 20% of the world’s population is without access to improved water supply. But it is not a catastrophe, yet. It lies within our collective grasp to find the solutions. Business can improve its water use efficiency and in many cases it has raised the bar. There are many success stories. But it will take everyone in the water basin working together to change the overall game. This is what makes the challenge complicated. We are ahead of the curve for now. Addressed smartly, innovatively and with new forms of collaboration between government, business and industry, we believe the coming crisis can be averted.

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