Interview with Dr. Volker Laabs

Agriculture without water is not possible and most of the world’s freshwater is used for agricultural purposes. Agriculture accounts for 70 percent of global withdrawals. However, agriculture also needs to ensure that water quality is protected.

Dr. Volker Laabs, geo-ecologist, works in the department for Global Sustainability and Product Stewardship at BASF, and is focused on the management of impacts of agriculture on water resources.

Dr. Laabs, water seems to be turning into a megatrend. Why are so many people talking about water?

The reality is that nature, and humans as part of nature, cannot survive without an adequate water supply. Water regulates the climate, creates landscapes, sustains ecosystems, connects continents and is fundamental to all our activities - from daily living to agricultural and industrial production. Yet, according to estimates in the 2009 United Nations World Water Development Report, by 2025 about 1.8 billion people will live in countries or regions with absolute water scarcity. This dramatic situation leads to this new megatrend.