FAO: We Need to Address Water Scarcity ‘Immediately and Boldly’

Over three billion people live in agricultural areas with high levels of water shortages and scarcity, the United Nations agriculture agency said in a new report.

The State of Food and Agriculture 2020, the Food and Agriculture Organization’s flagship report, says available freshwater resources have declined globally by over 20 percent per person over the past two decades, underscoring the importance of producing more with less, especially in the agriculture sector – the world’s largest user of water.

From investing in water-harvesting and conservation in rainfed areas to rehabilitating and modernizing sustainable irrigation systems in irrigated areas, actions must be combined with best agronomic practices, the report stressed.

These could involve adopting drought-tolerant crop varieties and improving water management tools – including effective water pricing and allocation, such as water rights and quotas – to ensure equitable and sustainable access.

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