Water management in a changing world: Role of Irrigation for sustainable food production
The world’s population is growing rapidly and is expected to reach about 9 billion by 2050, mostly living in urban areas, posing challenge in meeting the sharply growing water, food and energy demands. In order to feed this growing population it is estimated that agricultural production needs to be increased by about 70 % globally and by 100 % in developing countries. It is likely that increased food production will have to be achieved with a reducing share of water for agriculture due to competition from other sectors including uncertainty due to climate change and variability. This calls for growing more with less water in a sustainable manner. New ways to grow food in ecologically and ethically responsible manners and expansion of irrigation to previously rainfed areas, along with supply and demand side management options will play a significant role in achieving this goal.
The key to sustainable development of irrigated agriculture in the changing environment and the on-going rural transformation lies around modernization of irrigation systems and related services to improve water use efficiency, improving water and land productivity supported by financial mechanisms, reform of management institutions, adoption of efficient water management techniques including recycling and reuse of waste water, use of modern technologies, increasing awareness about water scarcity, capacity development of service providers and farmers etc. with participation of all the stakeholders (public and private sector, academic and research institutions, industry, civil society, farmers’ and their organizations etc.).
In order to address these issues the World Irrigation Forum (WIF) that would include policy makers, experts, researchers, private sector companies (manufacturers, consultants, contractors), farmers, non-governmental organizations, among others, is being organised by the International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage (ICID) in cooperation with the host Thailand National Committee on Irrigation and Drainage (THAICID) and in partnership with a number of International institutions engaged in solving these issues.
Sub-themes and Topics
With the main theme for the Forum, the issues are divided under following sub-themes: