Monday, September 26, 2011

Inefficient water use is 'sleeping giant' of global water challenge

Luke Walsh in Inefficiency, rather than water scarcity, is the greatest global water challenge according to new research published today, which says fears of water shortages are unfounded as major river basins contain enough resources to double food production if used properly.

The work released today (September 26) at the start of the XIV World Water Congress in Brazil claims, while water-related conflicts and shortages abound throughout the rapidly changing societies of Africa, Asia and Latin America, there is 'clearly sufficient water' to sustain food, energy, industrial and environmental needs during the 21st century.

...The report from the Challenge Program on Water and Food (CPWF) of the CGIAR finds the 'sleeping giant' of water challenges is not scarcity, but the inefficient use and inequitable distribution of the massive amounts of water that flow through the breadbaskets of key river basins such as the Nile, Ganges, Andes, Yellow, Niger and Volta.

CPWF director, Alain Vidal, said: "Water scarcity is not affecting our ability to grow enough food today. Yes, there is scarcity in certain areas, but our findings show that the problem overall is a failure to make efficient and fair use of the water available in these river basins. This is ultimately a political challenge, not a resource concern..."

Water coursing over the spillway of Ghana's Akosombo Dam, shot by ZSM, Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license

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