Polluted groundwater sources threaten food security, says report

Sponsored by

ROME, Italy, Nov. 28, 2011 – Increased pollution and withdrawal of groundwater sources could hamper efforts to increase food production by 70% to meet rising populations by 2050.

Furthermore, excessive build up of nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorous are impacting large inland water bodies, with many rivers not reaching their natural end points.

This is a stark warning sent out in the State of the World’s Land and Water Resources (SOLAW), a report from the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) of the United Nations.

The report cautioned: “Because of the dependence of many key food production systems on groundwater, declining aquifer levels and continued abstraction of non-renewable groundwater present a growing risk to local and global food production.”

SOLAW said that water scarcity has placed a number of key food production systems around the globe at risk. It said this would pose a profound challenge to the task of feeding a global population expected to grow by two billion in under 40 years’ time.

FAO said that no region is immune: systems at risk can be found around the globe, from the highlands of the Andes to the steppes of Central Asia, from Australia’s Murray-Darling river basin (see WWi story on Australian irrigation invention) to the central United States.

Jacques Diouf, director-general at the FAO, said: “These systems at risk may simply not be able to contribute as expected in meeting human demands by 2050. The consequences in terms of hunger and poverty are unacceptable. Remedial action needs to be taken now.”

###

Sponsored by

TODAY'S HEADLINES

Research reveals dramatic growth of global hydropower expected this decade

Based on new statistics, an unprecedented boom in global hydropower dam construction is underway, primarily in developing countries and emerging economies.

DOD, NIH awards Cambrian prestigious contracts to further develop advanced biotechnologies

Cambrian Innovation recently won a prestigious contract from the Department of Defense and another two from the National Institutes of Health to further develop biotechnologies to dramatically improve water treatment, testing and remediation.

MWH Global promotes nearly a dozen employees to VP positions

MWH Global has officially announced the promotion of three employees to senior vice president and eight others to vice president. The promotions were confirmed by the MWH board of directors at its August board meeting.

Online Zeta Potential Measurement Provides Water Treatment Control, Cost Reduction

Online zeta potential measurements can provide real-time water quality monitoring and support effective process control under all circumstances. The value of online measurement is illustrated through the experiences of Aurora Water, which is using zeta potential at one facility as both an offline and online tool for monitoring and controlling water treatment processes.

FOLLOW US ON SOCIAL MEDIA