Water and Food Security to Avert the Climate Crises

Since the inception of human civilizations, various experiments have been done to improve living standards. However, to change the world needed a lot of effort and risks to be taken. Since the 17th century, the Industrial Revolution, the climate risks have drastically increased. Climate change can be defined as a change in the pattern of weather, and it relates to changes that are affecting land surfaces, ice sheets, and oceans. Simultaneously, climate change is impending the food and water security around the globe. Due to climate change water security is affected, changes in water cycles can be witnessed at various places around the world. Such as droughts, melting glaciers, sea-level rise, storms, and floods. Also, the need for food security is exacerbated because of the climate change risks, the food security ensures the availability of food supply and production and well-nutritious food for all the people. Thus, the extreme weather is reducing the crops yields and nutritious system in the crops, as well as exacerbating the drought, and fewer fertility conditions in the soil. Climate change can be averted by supporting the above-mentioned food and water security issues. The WHO and FAO, with the help of governments, are supporting the affected people around the world, to help, to mitigate the crises to fight climate change.

Water is one of the most essential parts of life, even though the human body is made up of 60% water. If we put a glance at history, we will find that many human civilizations chose to live surrounded by water, as an Indus Valley Civilization which was populated near the river Indus. Water, today, is imperative to save for a better future. Even though, various governments and organizations have pledged to save the water. According to the UN-Water Organization, “water security is the capacity of a population to safeguard sustainable access to adequate quantities of acceptable quality water for sustaining livelihoods, human well-being, and socio-economic development, for ensuring protection against water-borne pollution and water-related disasters, and for preserving the ecosystem in a climate of peace and political stability.”

According to research, climate change has various impacts on water security, 90% of water is salty, 2% is fresh, 0.5% covers surface water, 30% is groundwater, and 70% is ice and snow. The above-mentioned facts depict the fact that the world has less fresh water and the rest are glaciers, amid this, due to climate change polar ice is rapidly melting into the sea, which solemnly turns the fresh waters salty. Climate change is supporting the change in water cycles such as melting of glaciers, storms, sea-level rise, droughts, and floods. However, the melting of glaciers is the sign of precipitation and evaporation which causes more rains and the flow of water into the rivers causing floods and rains. According to the International Food Policy Research Institute, 4.8 billion people, or more than half of the world’s population will be facing risk amid water crises by 2050. Also, precipitation within the contaminated waters encourages pathogens into the fresh waters, which is causing the death of almost 15 million people per year, another research cites that diarrhoea, a water-borne disease, is taking the lives of almost 4 bn children of age five, per year.

Among the basic needs of life, food is one of those. According to the United Nations Committee on World Food Security, “food security is all the people have at all times physical, social, and economic access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious dietary and healthy food.” Human beings can survive without food for 8 to hardly 15 days, but imagine, how much difficult it would be, to feed around 7.6 billion people. Food security is also been

one of the most important factors since the 1970s when the concept of it originated. In 1983, FAO did expand its concept by including that it supports “securing access by vulnerable people to available supplies. Around 1.3bn tons of food is wasted every year globally, “about 2/3 of food is wasted or lost from farms to the tables.” Food security defines the concepts of the scientists, politicians, and policymakers who are investing their time to increase and stabilize food production due to the growing population concerns. Every human wants to eat, but due to limited resources, it has become difficult to feed each person in the world. On the contrary, those are the rich countries where food waste is on the brink. With time, there is also a risk of low agricultural production due to climate change, and it requires urgent attention of the governments to work cumulatively and find alternatives for the future to save humanity from natural disasters.

As discussed above, climate change is the enemy of food production. Simultaneously, with time, it has changed the system of agriculture practices. Firstly, due to the precipitation and acid rains, which has affected the life of crops depending on the rainfalls, it has played an active role by decreasing agricultural production. Also, the rise in temperatures is directly affecting the soil, inhaling its moisture, and creating hurdles for the rate of soil fertility. It is imperative to note that the groundwaters are also on the verge of drought conditions due to the rising temperature. On the contrary, livestock has also suffered a lot from climate change conditions. Climate change has directly or indirectly affected the food security concepts, as the natural disasters have disrupted the “food supplies and the market access”. According to the research by FAO, affected people are forced to eat less and less nutritional foods due to the nutritional system of crops is badly affected. Food security is currently at risk and needs the attention of world leaders to avert the climate crises and social unrest among societies. Indeed, the fewer food supplies will end up having more crimes and problems.

The writer is a student of Agricultural economics, and having interest in geo-economic and politcal issues, current affairs, agriculture, and environment.