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Reflections on food security under water scarcity

AuthorsFereres Castiel, Elías ; Orgaz Rosua, Francisco ; González-Dugo, Victoria
KeywordsWater productivity
Water scarcity
Water stress
Water use
Food security
Issue Date2011
PublisherOxford University Press
CitationJournal of Experimental Botany 62(12): 4079-4086 (2011)
AbstractForecasts on population growth and economic development indicate that there will be substantial increases in food demand for the forthcoming decades. We focus here on the water requirements of food production, on the issue of whether there would be enough water to produce sufficient food in the future, and we offer options to face this challenge based on recent trends observed in some agricultural systems. Given the competition for water faced by the agricultural sector, and the uncertainties associated with climate change, improving the efficiency of water use in both rain-fed and irrigated systems is the main avenue to face the challenge. In rain-fed agriculture, managing the risk associated with rainfall variability is a promising option to increase productivity. In irrigated systems, a case study on the improvements in water productivity in Andalusia, Spain, is used to illustrate some of the opportunities to make progress. Progress in reducing irrigation water use in recent decades has been substantial, but decreasing the consumptive use of crops is a much more difficult challenge. The need for more research and technology transfer on improving water-limited crop production is highlighted, and emphasis is placed on interdisciplinary approaches to gain the insight needed to achieve new breakthroughs that would help in tackling this complex problem. © 2011 The Author.
Identifiersdoi: 10.1093/jxb/err165
issn: 0022-0957
e-issn: 1460-2431
Appears in Collections:(IAS) Artículos
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