G20 Foundation Publications Australia 2014 - Page 68

68 C L I M AT E C H A N G E & S U S TA I N A B I L I T Y Sustainable water agriculture ensures environmental security Scott Vaughan, President, International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) We all depend on a reliable supply of clean, fresh water for life, for our livelihoods and for economic development. Humans have shown remarkable ingenuity in finding new technology pathways and substitutes for many resource needs. However, we cannot live without fresh water. While progress has been made in the delivery of clean water for all, too many people still face crippling damage to human health, as well as broader economic development challenges, because of inadequate or dirty water One of the biggest users of water is agriculture, accounting for 70 per cent of all water use worldwide. Water is the lifeblood of agriculture and food production. In recent years, policy-makers have recognized the joint challenges associated with clean, abundant water and global food security. As the planet’s population increases, food-growing systems face mounting pressures to secure long-term supplies of clean water responsive to the demands of ever more complex food distribution supply chains and changing domestic diets. Despite progress, practical impediments to coordinating water management and agricultural policies persist due to any number of barriers,