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Water, food security and human dignity – a nutrition perspective

The Earth’s water resources are scarce in relation to a booming demand and the availability is geographically and seasonally uneven and uncertain.  Global warming means changes in precipitation pattern with prolonged periods of extremes, among other things. Droughts that last for years represent Society’s New Normal, which, together with continuous demographic change and shifts in food habits, contribute to a radically new context for water and food security and human dignity. The number of undernourished has been reduced while the number of overweight and obese has increased quite rapidly.

When the rivers are desiccated and the rains fail, people turn to groundwater, which is now lifted several hundred meters, in different parts of the world. At the same time, significant volumes of water have been used in vain when between one third and one half of the food produced is lost due to poor transport, or increasingly wasted by consumers, among other things.This discussion paper examines the importance of water in ensuring food security.

In the focus:

  • Water, land rights and food security; 
  • The surge in land acquisitions – a surge in water acquisition;
  • Land rights and access to water are often closely interconnected;
  • Acknowledging women’s role in water and food security and more.

(Lundqvist, J., Grönwall, J. and Jägerskog, A. (2015). Water, food security and human dignity – a nutrition perspective. Ministry of Enterprise and Innovation, Swedish FAO Committee, Stockholm)