SLU news

Water for food security in global and local climate change

Published: 22 March 2024

Water security is essential for all life on earth, and not least for food security and sustainable food production. Jennie Barron, Professor within agricultural water management, emphasise the challenges in a new blog post published for the Swedish FAO Committee in conjunction with the International Water Day.

"Water is essential in our food production systems, – to ensure biomass and to sustain essential ecosystem services in agricultural landscapes. Globally, 95% of food production is land-based (e.g. FAO SOLAW 2022), meaning it is fundamentally reliant on the weather conditions and soil-water interactions for crops and livestock at the field and landscape level. To manage variable rainfall conditions for crop production, we globally irrigate 25 % of cropland to alleviate dry spells and droughts, and maintain drainage systems to cope with floods and soil health on about almost 20 % of cropland. These are essential water management practises to secure food supplies globally in current and potential future variable rainfall, but also a cause for controversy and potential adverse environmental impacts..."

Read the full blog post at the Swedish FAO committee's website.