Water for food production.
Water for agriculture is critical for food security. However, water for irrigation may be threatened by rapidly increasing nonagricultural uses in industry, households, and the environment. New investments in irrigation and water supply systems and improved water management can meet part of the demand. But in many arid or semiarid areas--and seasonally in wetter areas--water is no longer abundant. The high economic and environmental costs of developing new water resources limit supply expansion. Therefore, even new supplies may be insufficient. Whether water will be available for irrigation so that agricultural production can provide for national and global food security remains an urgent question for the world. This brief examines the relationship between water and food production over the next 30 years using IFPRI?s IMPACTWATER model. This global model simulates the relationships among water availability and demand, food supply and demand, international food prices, and trade at the regional andglobal levels. The baseline scenario incorporates our best estimates of the policy, investment, technological, and behavioral parameters driving the food and water sectors. We then look at how faster growth in municipal and industrial (M&I) demand and slower investments in irrigation and water supply infrastructure would affect food production. (excerpt)