Water: The Source Of Life And A Precious Resource For Agriculture
Water is essential for economic and social development. Although a large part of the earth’s surface area is covered by water, water is only an exploitable resource when it is suitable for consumption either by humans, industry or agriculture.
Most of the utilized freshwater goes toward agricultural purposes, like irrigation. In fact, agriculture accounts for 70 percent of all withdrawals, a figure that increases to 95 percent in developing countries.
These figures may seem high, but such amounts of water are actually needed to produce enough food for the world's fast-growing population. According to the FAO, an additional 14 percent will be needed for agriculture if the world is to achieve the necessary 55 percent increase in food production by 2030. Over the next 50 years, water shortages in agriculture are predicted to be the single biggest constraint facing food production.