Monday, September 10, 2012

Water, water everywhere, but soon there may not be a drop to drink

Now here's a thing. according to the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, if we all keep on eating the way we do now in the West, with 20% of our calorie intake coming from animal proteins, there will not be enough water for us all by 2050.

Which is not very far ahead in my children's diaries.

There's a whole bunch of numbers coming up, but stick with it, it's important.

I didn't realise that 70% of global freshwater use is for agriculture.

That somewhere between 30% and 50% of food is currently wasted between harvest and consumption.

That if the world population increases to 9 billion by 2050, world food production will have to increase by 70% to feed everyone.

And there won't be enough water available to sustain that.

UNLESS we reduce the proportion of animal-based foods we eat to just 5% of calorie intake. 

Then we might just be OK, providing we sort out water saving and food distribution to limit wastage.

I can confess that World Water Week passed me by this year (it ended on August 31st), but the message is clear enough.

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