GTFS: Global Trends and Future Scenarios Index

World Water and Food to 2025: Dealing with Scarcity


Excerpt from Chapter 1, Water Resources and Food Production

Water is essential for growing food; for household water uses, including drinking, cooking, and sanitation; as a critical input into industry; for tourism and cultural purposes; and for its role in sustaining the earth’s ecosystems. But this essential resource is under threat. Growing national, regional, and seasonal water scarcities in much of the world pose severe challenges for national governments and international development and environmental communities. The challenges of growing water scarcity are heightened by the increasing costs of developing new water, degradation of soil in irrigated areas, depletion of groundwater, water pollution and degradation of water-related ecosystems, and wasteful use of already developed water supplies, often encouraged by the subsidies and distorted incentives that influence water use.