What will be the impact of water scarcity on food security?

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What will be the impact of water scarcity on food security?

COLIN CHARTRES
International Water Management Institute

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What will be the impact of water scarcity on food security?

  1. 1. What will be the impact of water scarcity on food security? COLIN CHARTRES International Water Management Institute
  2. 2. CONTENTS • A history lesson • Reasons for increasing water scarcity • Adaptive responses • Policy responses • A call to action
  3. 3. Water for Food – 1 liter per calorie Liters of Water Daily Drinking Water 2 – 5 Liters of Water Daily Household Use 20 – 500 Liters of Water 1kg of Grain 500 to 2,000 Liters of Evapotranspiration (ET) Livestock products (meat, 5,000 to 15,000 Liters of ET milk) 2.5b more mouths means finding another 2500 - 5000 cubic km of water!
  4. 4. A Middle Eastern History Lesson (with acknowledgements to Coucier et al., 2005) Mid 1950 1970s
  5. 5. LJRB (cont.) 2000s Mid 2020s
  6. 6. LJRV - history In 60 years: • 10,000 – 46,000 ha of irrigation • All surface water committed • Groundwater being severely mined • Flows into Dead Sea reduced by c.80% The question is have the development benefits outweighed the environmental costs? There has been some very dubious use of water for poorly returning agriculture.
  7. 7. An Indian History Lesson
  8. 8. The Indian Groundwater Story Transformation of Indian irrigation net area (million ha) by irrigation source (after Shah, 2009) 1999- 1800 1850 1885-86 1938-39 1970-71 2000 Government canals <1 ~1 2.8 9.8 24.2 31.2 Wells 2.0 2.6 3.5 5.3 13.9 53.6 Other sources 4.0 4.4 3.0 6.4 6.8 6.7 All sources 6 7 9.3 21.5 44.9 91.5 Irrigation area as % of area sown 10 10.3 12.4 25 31.4 53.5
  9. 9. India’s total available water resources are 1086 km3 BaU NCIWRD Scenario high demand Seckler Rosegrant Drivers Unit 2000 i projections ii Scenario ii et al.ii et al ii 2025 2050 2025 2050 2025 2025 Population Million 1,007 1,389 1,583 1,383 1,581 1,273 1,352 - % urban population % 28 37 51 45 61 43 43 Total calorie supply/person/day Kcal 2,495 2,775 3,000 - - 2,812 - Total grain demand/person/year Kg 200 210 238 231 312 215 215 Gross irrigated area Mha 76 105 117 98 146 90 76 Total grain availability/person/year Kg 208 213 240 242 312 216 206 Net irrigation requirement Km3 245 313 346 359iv 536iv 323 332 Domestic water demand/person m3/day 33 45 64 45 70 31 31 Industrial water demand/person m3/day 42 66 102 48 51 55 Total water demand Km3 680 833 900 773 1,069 811 822
  10. 10. A Pending Crisis for India • India is rapidly running low on water resources • Seckler et al. (1999) warned that a quarter of India’s food harvest is at risk if the country fails to manage it groundwater resources properly. • The transformation of its irrigation system from surface to groundwater has confounded good planning • Shah describes the current groundwater irrigation set up as “atomistic” and anarchic • Government control and regulation is extremely limited • Many aquifers are already over exploited • A National River Linking Program has been proposed, but will be expensive and environmentally contentious
  11. 11. An Australian History Lesson 15% of Australia Over 2 million people Ratio of high to low flow in Murray is >15:1 cf 1.9:1 for the Rhine
  12. 12. The Murray-Darling Basin • The Murray-Darling Basin has a track record of integrated water resources management, but overallocation was not prevented. • Regional climate variability is a major issue. Connell (2007) suggests that “……a similar struggle between biophysical realities and human ambition is underway in the Murray Darling Basin where the process of landscape and stream modification has proceeded apace in recent decades largely oblivious of the need for caution or the possibility of threshold changes to its ecological systems.”
  13. 13. Climate variability in the MDB 900 800 Extreme floods 700 600 500 400 300 200 Extreme drought 100 0 1900 1910 1920 1930 1940 1950 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000
  14. 14. Irrigation growth in the Murray-Darling Basin
  15. 15. MDB • By 1980s there was serious concern about land degradation and river salinity • Toxic algal blooms in the Darling River in the summer of 1991-92 • 1995: a “cap” on diversions agreed • By turn of the century river rarely flowing into the ocean and the basin “closed” • The governance mechanism (MDBC) which served well for about 80 years could not cope with issues because of state based partisan responses and thus the Federal Government took over the basin management (MDBA) • 2004 onwards; very significant investment in improving irrigation efficiency and buying back water for the environment
  16. 16. What do these lessons tell us? Open Basins Closed Basins Exploiting water resources Managing Demand New allocations Reallocating water Who is included and excluded Safeguarding right to water Developing groundwater Regulating groundwater Informal, formal institutions Informal & Formal institutions Within system conflicts Cross sectoral conflicts Demand for water is having profound impacts on our river systems and requires new systems of governance that deal with issues arising in closed basins compared with those that operated previously
  17. 17. A WATER CRISIS? • Food production is dependent on water • There is compelling evidence that water will be the number one constraint on increasing food production in much of the developing world • Much of the world is becoming water scarce
  18. 18. WE ALREADY INHABIT A WATER SCARCE WORLD 1/3 of the world’s population live in basins that have to deal with water scarcity
  19. 19. Most hungry and poor people live where water challenges pose a constraint to food production 20-35% >35% Hunger Goal Indicator: Prevalence of undernourished in developing countries, percentage 2001/2002 (UNstat, 2005)
  20. 20. However the 2008 food crisis demonstrated that food security depends on a range of factors? • Income growth and dietary change, climate change, high energy prices, globalization and urbanization are transforming food consumption, production and markets (von Braun (2008) • Slow growing supply, low stocks and supply shocks at a time of surging demand for feed, food and fuel have lead to drastic price increases • Biofuel production has further impacted the situation and disproportionately affects the poor through price level and volatility effects
  21. 21. SUB-SAHARAN ECONOMIES ARE STRONGLY DEPENDENT ON WATER AVAILABILITY e.g. Rainfall and GDP growth in Ethiopia Impact of rainfall variability on GDP and Agricultural GDP growth 80 25 20 60 15 40 10 20 5 0 % 0 -5 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 -20 -10 -40 -15 rainfall variability -20 -60 GDP growth -25 -80 Ag GDP growth -30 year
  22. 22. Burkina Faso: Relation between rainfall and cereal production 250 800 200 National rainfall index 600 Cereal production Total cereal production - Variation from trend ('000 tons) 150 National rainfall index: Variation from trend (mm) 400 100 200 50 0 0 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 -50 -200 -100 -400 -150 -600 -200 -250 -800 Years
  23. 23. KEY QUESTION A key question is whether we have enough water resources to grow enough food to meet future demand for food, feed and biofuels? The Comprehensive Assessment answered No, unless …. We change the way we think and act on water issues.
  24. 24. Demand continues to rise
  25. 25. We have seen that several basins are already using close to their utilizable water resources yet pressure for more food and thus water continues to mount What are the driving forces behind water scarcity? • Growing population (6.7 billion now to 9.0 billion by 2050) • Dietary change • Urbanization • Biofuel production • Need for environmental water • Climate change
  26. 26. Consumption and income 1961-2000 120 100 meat consumption Meat (kg/cap/yr) 80 60 China USA 40 20 0 India 10 100 1000 10000 100000 GDP per capita (2000 constant dollars per year) 120 100 USA milk consumption India (kg/cap/yr) 80 60 40 Milk 20 0 China 10 100 1000 10000 100000 G D P p e r c a p it a ( 2 0 0 0 c o n s t a n t d o lla r s p e r y e a r )
  27. 27. BIOFUELS Harvested area 2003 irrigated rain fed biofuels 2030 irrigated rain fed 400 Million ha 800 1200 1600 Crop water consumption 2003 irrigation directly from rain biofuels 2030 irrigation directly from rain km3 2000 4000 6000 8000
  28. 28. Water requirements for biofuel production, but a word of caution ….. liters of ET Liters of Irrigation water China 3800 2500 India 4100 3500 US 1750 300 Brazil 2250 200
  29. 29. CLIMATE CHANGE: a big uncertainty INFLOWS INTO PERTH’s STORAGES 1000 Total annual inflow (GL) 900 Annual inflow 800 700 600 500 400 300 200 100 1947 0 1953 1965 1941 1959 1971 1977 1995 2001 2004 1935 1989 1923 1929 1983 1911 1917 1911–1974 (338 GL) 1975–1996 (177 GL) 1997–2004 (115 GL) Source: WA Water Corporation.
  30. 30. Climate Change issues – Ovens Valley, Victoria Australia Temperature For recent climate and current development • Last 10 years have seen a 11% and 26% reduction in rainfall and runoff. • Translation of this into a developing country scenario could portend catastrophy
  31. 31. Sectoral water consumption is increasing due to increased demand Demand will double in the next 40 years
  32. 32. A CALL TO ACTION - WHAT CAN WE DO?
  33. 33. Water storage improves water and food security Reservoir Storage per Capita (m3/cap), 2003 “Irrigation” has 7,000 dominated public 5,961 6,000 investment in 4,717 5,000 agriculture in Asia. 4,000 3,386 3,000 Very little water 2,486 2,000 storage has been 687 1,104 1,277 built in Africa. 1,000 38 - Irrigated area is na nd il ia ca lia o a az ic ic op i la ra ri Ch ex er Br Af ai hi st Am M only 7% of arable Th Et Au h ut rth So No land (3.7% in SSA). Source: World Bank
  34. 34. RETHINK STORAGE • Renewed interest in storage infrastructure for irrigation particularly in sub-Saharan Africa • Explore wide range of options: large scale reservoirs, small village ponds, groundwater, water harvesting (i.e. soil moisture storage), virtual storage (food) • Diversity of storage options within a basin • Storage creation processes determine who benefits • New hydropower schemes and their impacts will be inevitable
  35. 35. REVITALIZE IRRIGATION 2.5 320 World Bank lending for irrigation 280 2.0 Irrigated Area 240 ? 200 1.5 160 1.0 Food price index 120 Living Planet Index Freshwater Species 80 0.5 40 0 0 1960 1965 1970 1975 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005 How to avoid?
  36. 36. Increasing Water Productivity Figure 4: Standardise d Gross Value of Production pe r unit wate r consume d by ETcrop 0.7 0.6 0.5 3 US dollar per m 0.4 0.3 0.2 0.1 0 * surf ace wat er and pub lic wells ** privat e wells
  37. 37. Water losses 60% on farm loss made up of: • 24% water management loss (dams, evaporation) 25% 15% channel • 36% by plants conveyance distribution (14% loss to soil loss in River loss and 22% direct plant use)
  38. 38. Gains in productivity have to be made in the rainfed sector as well Can we use small scale supplementary irrigation to “insure” yields and increase productivity?
  39. 39. Turn waste water into a valuable resource Livestock Wastewater Milk irrigation (Meat) Fodder Public Health Ground water Farmer Laborer Rice Consumer Soil Vegetables Short term and Long term health impacts
  40. 40. REFORM WATER GOVERNANCE • By demonstrating that evidence based policy and management works best • By providing options for policies and institutional reform • By proactive policy development that encourages trade in virtual water • By improved determination of water rights • By better valuation and pricing of water that protects the rights of the poor • By improved management systems that are equitable and gender friendly
  41. 41. Do we have the right incentives in place? • There are major losses between storages and plant growth in irrigation systems • There are many ways in which these losses can be reduced • At the system level, government can recoup water by reducing leakages (but lost water often goes into groundwater and is subsequently used) • At the farm level unless water is well regulated efficiency gains are often used to extend the area irrigated • This may help food production, but it often does not lead to water going to the highest value users
  42. 42. The role of water footprinting • Useful tool for understanding the impact of agriculture, urban areas or industry on the water resource base • Needs to be coupled with active responses including productivity improvement, demand management, change in personal water consuming habits • It may help industry make choices on how to organize supply chains that have the least environmental impact • Ideally, footprinting information meeds to lead to policy responses that recognize the differential value of water from different sources (e.g maize grown in rainfed areas is more environmentally appropriate than maize irrigated from non-sutainable groundwater)
  43. 43. Changing the way we look at water • We need to move to governance systems where water rights are defined, water can thus be valued/priced and trading allowed • Similarly water allocations to users need to be established, regulated and policed to maintain use of surface and groundwater at sustainable levels • Government could then buy back water for environmental uses, and urban and industrial users can buy water from agriculture • This will provide financial incentives for all to use water wisely and to strive for productivity gains. • Of course, the poor need their water rights defined and basic needs for drinking, washing etc would be separately identified
  44. 44. Trading Water From this .... To this ….
  45. 45. IF WE CAN CHANGE THE WAY WE DO BUSINESS WE WILL HAVE ENOUGH WATER Today Practices like today CA Scenario CA Scenario: Policies for productivity gains, upgrading rainfed, revitalized irrigation, trade Based on WaterSim analysis for the CA
  46. 46. CONCLUSIONS • No doubt that we have a water crisis • Given current projections of food and water demand we can possibly avert future food crises • Ensuring availability of water for agriculture is vital, but requires major productivity increases and underpinning water reform • The impacts of climate change are still uncertain, but investment in adaptation to CC will also be relevant to the impacts of the other drivers of water scarcity

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