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Water threat to world food security

2012-03-15 14:35

Marseille - The wasteful way in which water is used for crop irrigation is a threat to world food security, the Global Environment Facility (GEF) warned.

"If we do not reform, 50% of global grain production will be at risk within a generation," it said in a report released to coincide with the World Water Forum (WWF), underway in Marseille, France.

Such a loss of food production would lead to "massive political instability and conflict".

The GEF is the world's biggest funder of environmental projects in developing countries, uniting various international agencies, development banks and more than 180 member governments.

According to the report, titled "Contributing to Global Security", rapid global change is placing increasing stress on the world's freshwater

"Global economic policies, together with an increasing population, and frequent droughts and floods caused by the warming of our planet, are all making the situation even worse."

About a billion people around the world lack access to safe drinking water, a similar number are undernourished, and 2.6 billion lack access to adequate sanitation.

"If we continue with a business-as-usual approach, in less than 20 years we will have 40% less freshwater than we need to ensure basic water, food and energy security for our communities," GEF said in the report.

Countries could no longer stick their heads in the sand and simply hope that next year would bring timely rains, rather than droughts or floods.

"We know that it is possible to achieve long-term water, food and energy security on our planet, but urgent action is needed now."

The WWF ends in Marseille on Friday. The theme for the forum's sixth triennial meeting is "Time for Solutions".

Comments
  • diego.singer - 2012-05-08 20:29

    To many people worry about the acid in the water but similar but worst things happen at Granite Factories spilling the toxic slurry into the storm drains most of the time. So ask youself: Is Granite Toxic? Yes, very much so! There are three main dangers, dust ingestion, dust inhalation, and heavy metal leaching caused by acidic food or drink. Granite contains Polonium, Lead, Plutonium, Uranium, and Thallium. Other heavy metals like Arsenic, Mercury, Tungsten, Cadmium and Vanadium are also present. Heavy metal leaching is by far the worst danger. Granite contains three main sources of both heavy metals and radiation, Potassium 40, Thorium, and Uranium. Keep in mind that all three of these elements are unstable, they do decay constantly into other elements. Thorium is more of a danger to elaborators than homeowners, if aerosolized or present in dust form, it can lead to increased risk of cancers of the lungs, pancreas, and blood. If ingested, there is an increased risk of liver diseases. Here is a link to a chain of 20 radioactive particles emitted per atom of Thorium present. The long half lives don't matter, some are decaying at all times. Note that many of the steps in the decay chain are toxic heavy metals, Polonium, Plutonium (yes, that Plutonium), Uranium, Thallium, and Lead. The rest of the steps are just radioactive! Granite has more poisonous substances in it than any other countertop material, by far; And find the way that the Granite factories stop spill....

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