Brent Paterson - Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development
WATER SUPPLY WATER MANAGEMENT WATER QUALITYWATER and FOOD PRODUCTION - Challenges for the Future - Presentation to the Canadian Water Summit June 28, 2012 Calgary, Alberta Brent Paterson, P. Ag. Executive Director Irrigation and Farm Water Division Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development
Future World Food Requirements World food requirements are expected to double in the next 40 years.
Future World Food Requirements World Population Growth Per Capita Food Consumption Shift Towards More Animal Protein
World Food Production The long-term ability to feed the world’s growing population will increasingly depend on: An ever-shrinking land base; and Increased competition for limited water supplies.
Food and Politics Sharp increases in food prices due to world shortages. July to September, 2010 wheat prices rose by 60-80%. The “Arab Spring” uprisings were linked to discontent over food prices. Food demand is expected to increase dramatically.
Undernourished People in the World 1100People (millions) 1000 900 800 700 69-71 79-81 90-92 95-97 00-02 05-07 08 09 10 Years FAO – World Food and Agriculture in Review 2010
Undernourished People in 2010 (millions) 37 19 53 Asia and Pacific 239 Sub-Saharan Africa 578 Latin America and Caribbean Near East and North Africa Developed Regions Total: 925 million
Food Production About 60% of the world’s food is produced on rainfed agricultural lands. Significant production increases on rainfed land is not expected.
Irrigated Food Production Irrigation makes up only 17% of the world’s agriculture land base. However, it produces about 40% of the world’s food. Up to 80% of future food requirements will need to be met by irrigation.
Irrigation Advantages Significantly increased production compared to rainfed agriculture. More reliable production – less risk of crop failure. Increased diversification and value- added processing.
Increasing Productivity California PakistanWheat Yield = 6 t/haWater Productivity = Wheat Yield = 2 t/ha1.3 kg/m3 Water Productivity = 0.5 kg/m3 If developing countries improve their irrigation efficiency and crop yields, irrigation expansion would not be required. Molden et al: Dialogue Working Paper 1, 2001
Sub-Saharan Africa has considerable potentialto develop water storage and irrigation systemsthat will significantly increase food production. Increased international support is required for the development and management of water in developing countries.
Projected Water Scarcity in 2025 Many countries will be forced to abandon their policy of food self- sufficiency because of water shortages.Physical water scarcityEconomic water scarcityLittle or no water scarcity Seckler et al, 2002
Alberta is positioned to play a major role in helping meet future world food needs.
Alberta’s Potential Large agricultural land base; 20 million ha. Relatively small population; 3.5 million Strong dryland agriculture; and World-class irrigation system. Agricultural Land Irrigation
Current Irrigation in Alberta Irrigation Districts • 560,000 ha Private Irrigation • 120,000 ha
Irrigation Conveyance Systems Open Channels Conveyance Works >8000 km • 54% Open channel • 46% Buried pipeline Buried Pipelines
On-Farm Irrigation Efficiency 1965 34% World average is about 43% 1980 58% 1990 60% 1995 65% 2010 74% Future 90+% Woods – 2010; Harms – 2012 (ARD)
Climate Change The agricultural industry has always adapted to changing climatic conditions on the prairies. However, accelerated changes in our climate will require faster adaptation than ever before. We are working with the agricultural industry to assess adaptation strategies.
Finding The BalanceEnvironment Economic Society
Irrigation District Water Quality Calgary• 2006-2007• 2011-201586 Sites MedicineSampled 4 times/year Hat Lethbridge Primary source sites Secondary source sites Return flow sites