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One of the 15 global challenges formulated by the Millenium project is “How can population growth and resources be brought into balance?“ One aspect of this challenge is improving the use efficiency of the global resources e.g. nutrients. These nutrients are just as important to agriculture as water.
World population is expected to grow another 1 billion in just 12 years, and reaching 9 billion people in 2050, creating unprecedented demand for food, and hence agricultural land. To keep up with population and economic growth, food production should increase by 70% by 2050.
One of the 15 global challenges defined by the Millenium project is ‘clean water’. The UN-water (2010) statement contains the following text: “As a global community, we must refocus our attention on improving and preserving the quality of our water, a challenge that requires bold steps internationally, nationally, and locally. Directing global priorities, funding, and policies to improve water quality can ensure that our water resources can once again become a source of life.
The past, present and future
Water scarcity is one of the global challenges. The problem of water scarcity is a growing one. Water use has been growing at more than twice the rate of population increase in the last century. Food and agriculture are the largest consumers of water. As more people put ever increasing demands on limited supplies, the cost and effort to build or even maintain access to water will increase.