Water and Food Security at World Water Week 2012 in Stockholm

I just came back from the World Water Week 2012 in Stockholm, Sweden. In this event members of the private and public sectors gathered to learn about the world’s water problems and discuss solutions that will help improve the water situation around the world. This year’s theme was “Water and Food Security”.

90% of the world’s water is in the hands of the private sector

70% of the world’s available water is used for agriculture, 20% for industrial purposes, and only 10% of the water is used for domestic consumption: drinking, sanitation etc. This means that 90% of the world’s water is under the responsibility of the business sector. For this reason it is important to educate the private sector in order to promote the adoption of sustainable practices. This is the purpose of this event and I can say that it is succeeding.

PepsiCo receives 2012 Stockholm Industry Water Award

To recognize the efforts made by members of the private sector every year the event’s committee awards the Stockholm Industry Water Award, recognizing the sustainability achievements made by members of the private sector. This year’s winner was PepsiCo, while last year the award was given to Nestle.

“PepsiCo has successfully reduced water consumption in its production, and extended its commitment beyond the company’s own operations to help solve water challenges on a broad scale,” the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) Award Jury said when announcing the award. The jury added that, “PepsiCo’s water commitment has not stopped at the factory walls,” as the company has, “saved water all along its agricultural supply chain.” Reducing water use in the company’s agricultural supply chain was a key element to PepsiCo reaching its water reduction goal four years early.

The awareness to water issues among many companies, especially from the food & beverage and from the garment industries, is growing. I am sure that several companies are in line for next year’s award.

The importance of “frontal training”

During one of the events at the conference I have presented Netafim’s vision regarding the importance of “Hands-on training” in the field or at a classroom, to allow transition from traditional to modern agriculture techniques, and to ensure that the modern systems are utilized in an optimal manner. In the future Netafim will most likely use the power and availability of mobile phones as platform for remote training. This will dramatically improve our ability to share our knowledge and to ensure optimal operation and maintenance of the systems, especially among smallholders in remote rural areas.

UN global compact CEO water mandate launches global water action hub

During the Water Week conference the UN global compact CEO water mandate launched the global Water Action Hub. The Water Action Hub is an online map-based data management system that facilitates match-making, by allowing users to identify potential collective action opportunities via river basins, organizations, projects, and collaboration action areas. I will discuss in greater length this initiative in my next blog post.

Stay tuned…

Natty Barak

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