Message from Stockholm: Smart water policies now or global food production in jeopardy
By Liz Enbysk
SGN Managing Editor
Using water-saving equipment and technologies, creative recycling and reuse of water and by deploying a water management system throughout its manufacturing facilities, PepsiCo conserved nearly 16 billion liters of water in 2011 from a 2006 baseline. That achievement won the global food and beverage company the 2012 Stockholm Industry Water Award at the World Water Week conference this week in Sweden.
It was a fitting choice given that this year's conference theme is water and food security. The annual event opened with speakers calling for global action to reduce food losses, enhance water efficiency in agriculture and curb consumer waste.
"Food, energy, the ecological footprint and various social and economical activities are all dependent on water resources and its management and a changing climate and extended variables make the future of water and food production highly uncertain,” said Mohamed Bahaa El Din Saad, the Egyptian Minister for Water and Irrigation and President of the African Minister’s Council on Water (AMCOW). "If water policies are not altered, farmers are going to find it extremely difficult to meet the food needs of the 9 billion population by the year 2045. We need to introduce more efficient water use and improve food productivity per unit of water.”