Some of the statistics highlighted by the FAO on World Water Day:
- Guaranteeing sustainable food and water security for all will require transferring appropriate water technologies, empowering small food producers and conserving essential ecosystem services.
- The Rio+20 Earth Summit will highlight the need to "connect the dots between water security and food and nutrition security in the context of a green economy."
- There is a need for "investments in people, infrastructure, education and awareness building, and finding incentives for small farmers to adopt best practices and strengthening their capacity to improve their productivity."
- There is also a need to increase "farmers' resilience against climate change, improving water governance, and establishing institutions to improve national and regional water management are also priority areas."
- The FAO estimates that 1.3 billion tonnes of food are wasted each year. A 50 percent reduction of food losses and waste at the global level would save 1 350 km3 of water annually.
- An estimated 1.6 billion people live in countries or regions with absolute water scarcity and by 2025 two-thirds of the world's population could be living under water stressed conditions.
- Agriculture is responsible for 70 percent of all freshwater and groundwater withdrawals worldwide.
- Irrigated agriculture accounts for only 20 percent of the Earth's cultivated land area, but produces 40 percent of its food.
For more see: "Success in hunger fight hinges on better use of water," FAO Press Release, 22 March 2012.