The United Nations has declared 22 March 2012 as World Water Day (WWD 2012) and this year, UN-Water has selected the theme of Water and Food Security.
There is no food security without water. On average, agriculture consumes 78% of total water withdrawals in Asia-Pacific. Food production will have to increase during the next decades to account for population growth. As the region’s economies grow, diets are also changing, particularly in wealthier households. Greater demand for meat and dairy products will mean greater demands for water. The need to expand food production to meet changing consumer diets and a growing population will place additional demands on water.
At the same time, climate change is affecting the water cycle, posing a new threat to food security in Asia and the Pacific. More than 90% of the impacts of climate change are related to water and appear as more intensive floods, droughts, storms, cyclones etc. Rainfall variability is already affecting food production across the region. Agriculture will have to undergo drastic changes in order to maintain sufficient levels of production for the growing populations in the region.
These challenges require drastic changes in agriculture and in water management. Technology and innovation, supported by investment, can offer solutions; however, the main policy response to secure adequate water for food production will come from a clearly-defined water resources management plan, without hindering water for other uses, such as households, industrial, and tertiary development.
World Water Day 2012 is celebrated around the world. In Thailand, the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) and Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), will also be celebrating WWD 2012 on Tuesday, 22 March 2012 at the UN Conference Centre (UNCC), Bangkok. The United States Embassy in Thailand will join this year’s celebration as a key partner. The Celebration will start with an exhibition and Opening Ceremony at the UNCC and continue with a panel discussion. The exhibition will take place from 21 to 23 March at the Ground Floor of the UNCC.
For previous World Water Day events, please click the below:-