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Saving Water: From Field to Fork: Curbing Losses and Wastage in the Food Chain

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Type: Working Paper
Author: Lundqvist, Jan; de Fraiture, Charlotte; Molden, David
Date: 2008
Agency: Stockholm International Water Institute, Sweden
Series: SIWI Policy Brief
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/5088
Sector: Agriculture
Water Resource & Irrigation
Subject(s): food supply
water management
cost benefit analysis
climate change
Abstract: "We need to use our water prudently – no one will argue with this statement. But in fact we are wasteful. This need will become more pronounced, and the cost of bad water management will get higher in the future with increasing water demands from increasing population, cities, agriculture, and the environment. Moreover water management will become more difficult with climate change. New solutions and fast actions are required now. Agriculture is the largest human use of water. Clearly, agricultural practices need to be targeted to reduce wastage of water. This has been the center of attention for water saving practices for years. But there are additional ways to save water. Food consumers and businesses have a key role. Losses of food between the farmers’ field to our dinner table – in food storage, transport, food processing, retail and in our kitchens – are huge. This loss of food is equivalent to a loss in water. Reducing food loss and wastage lessens water needs in agriculture. We need to pay more attention to this fact. Our Key Message: Make the Food Chain More Efficient to Save Water to Facilitate the Achievement of Multiple Development Objectives"

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