A NEW REPORT by The Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) warns that the world’s population could face living in ‘water scarce’ areas by 2015 unless new agricultural efficiencies are introduced.
According to the report, 1.8 million litres of water per person is used every year in food and drink production; in total, that’s 730,000 – 1,825,000 million litres consumed every year.
This is estimated to increase by up to 50% every year, the overall impact of which will see around two thirds of the world’s population living in ‘water scare’ areas, compared to just 7% at present.
IChemE is calling for global action to be taken on food production to try and prevent this problem.
Andy Furlon, if IChemE said: “Estimates suggest that we will need to produce 60% more food by 2050 and agriculture will need around 19% more water to produce that extra food.
“It is clear that current production methods are unsustainable and there are genuine risks of food shortages, rising food prices, droughts and social unrest for future generations unless we make more efficient use of water.”
Furlong continued: “There are solutions, but these will require political will, major investment and lifestyle changes.
“Revised planning frameworks and investment will be needed for the construction of new capacity, infrastructure and appropriate technologies to improve efficiency of water management in food and drink production” he adds.