Water Security vs Food Security

Sarah Lina Abd Rahim writes

Last week, on Adam’s birthday, his family went to a seafood restaurant for celebration.

Upon arrival, their reserved table is filled with special menu of the day.

After completing the meal, a waiter came with an unpleasant surprise, saying that no drinks will be served as all water in the restaurant was used up to prepare the food.

The family was baffled, upset and thirsty

The celebration mood was completely ruined.

From this, we learnt that water and food are two important resources that complement one another.

United Nations (UN) estimated that there will be about 8.3billion people in 2030 and 9.1billion people in 2050.

It means more food need to be produced which require more water at the same time.

It is a right of every human being to have sufficient water for daily activity and sanitation.

They are also entitled to have sufficient nutritious food for energy and healthy living.

Among factors that threaten water resources is natural disaster, pollution, development affecting water catchment area, and unsustainable usage.

Meanwhile, among factors that affect food resources is climate change, lack of agriculture land and water, overfishing, and natural disaster.

Without water, agriculture activity will slow down.

Without clean water, marine resources will be depleted and no longer safe for consumption.

The effort to maintain water security could start from safeguarding forest to ensure that there is sufficient water catchment area.

There is also a need to effectively control water pollution so it will not be detrimental to human and marine life.

A household should also be encouraged to reduce water wastage.

Besides that, a mechanism need to be put up to ensure that waste water could be recycled for agriculture use.

Heavy rain should be fully utilised by the virtue of rain-harvesting and dams need to be built for storage.

To ensure food security, there is a need to fortify crops so it can withstand abiotic stress in the event of climate change or natural disaster.

Research need to be expanded to enhance crop yield or nutrition content by cross-breeding or genetic modification.

Besides crop, cross breeding on livestock and providing them with nutritious feed will help to improve its quality.

Agriculture land and water resources need to be used optimally for food production.

Vertical farming that utilises rain-harvesting or waste water system should be encouraged.

Besides that, (UN) also reported that an estimation of 1.3billion tons or 30 per cent of food produced worldwide is wasted every year.

The public need to advocate prevention of wastage by purchasing what is needed only.

Overfishing should also be monitored.

With this, food resources could be sufficient for all.

Moreover, the transfer of technology is required for developed countries to underdeveloped countries so they can practise a sustainable way of farming.

Lastly, efforts need to be made to reduce the impact of climate change.

This is achievable by managing the amount of greenhouse gaseous released to the air, and having a properly planned development.

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