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World Water Week 2012 Opens with Focus on Water and Food Security

26 August 2012: World Water Week 2012 is underway in Stockholm, Sweden, with a focus on the theme "Water and Food Security." The programme aims to engage participants on challenges posed by increased competition for water resources, driven in part by population growth and climate change, and its effects on agriculture and food security. World Water Week is organized annually by the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI).

The Week is convening from 26-31 August 2012, with a variety of plenary sessions, workshops, focus sessions, side events and social events.

Cross-cutting issues on the agenda include climate change, river basin and coastal management, integrated water resources management (IWRM), green accounting, poverty eradication and sustainable development, financial tools and investment, gender, the right to water, fisheries, early warning systems, sanitation and health, energy, water pollution, urbanization and stakeholder participation.

Several publications have been launched in anticipation of World Water Week. The Global Water Partnership (GWP) has released: Groundwater Resources and Irrigated Agriculture – making a beneficial relation more sustainable; Water Demand Management (WDM) – The Mediterranean Experience; Water Security and Climate Resilience; and Addressing Escalating Urban Water Demands. SIWI has published a report with Elsevier on the state of research on the water-food nexus, and, as a formal input to the Week, a report titled “Feeding a Thirsty World: Challenges and Opportunities for a Water and Food Secure World.”

The Food and Agricultural Organization of the UN (FAO) is using the Week as an opportunity to propose a new framework to address water scarcity, based on a newly-launched report “Coping with Water Scarcity: An Action Framework for Agriculture and Food Security.” The framework focuses on modernizing irrigation, improving farm-level rainwater storage, increasing recycling and water re-use, controlling pollution and reducing food waste. These messages were reiterated by FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva during the opening ceremony of World Water Week, during which he stressed that "there is no food security without water security." FAO launched two other reports in anticipation of World Water Week, namely: "Irrigation in Southern and Eastern Asia in Figures – AQUASTAT Survey," and "Crop Yield Response to Water."

The UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and UN-Water will reveal activities to be undertaken during the International Year of Water Cooperation 2013, and discuss World Water Assessment Programme (WWAP) publications, including: Carbon and Water Footprints; the Summary of the 4th World Water Development Report (WWDR-4); Green Accounting and Data Improvements for Water Resources; and Water and Sustainability – A Review of Targets, Tools and Regional Cases.

The International Water Management Institute (IWMI) also launched “Water for Wealth and Food Security” on the first day of World Water Week. [World Water Week Website] [World Water Week Programme] [GWP Press Release] [SIWI Press Release] [FAO Press Release] [UNESCO Press Release] [IWMI Press Release]

Publications: [Publication: Feeding a Thirsty World: Challenges and Opportunities for a Water and Food Secure World] [Publication: Groundwater Resources and Irrigated Agriculture – making a beneficial relation more sustainable] [Publication: Water Demand Management (WDM) – The Mediterranean Experience] [Publication: Water Security and Climate Resilience] [Publication: Addressing Escalating Urban Water Demand] [Publication: The Water and Food Nexus: Trends and Development of the Research Landscape] [Publication: Coping with Water Scarcity: An Action Framework for Agriculture and Food Security] [Publication: Irrigation in Southern and Eastern Asia in Figures – AQUASTAT Survey] [Publication: Crop Yield Response to Water] [Publication: Carbon and Water Footprints] [Publication: Summary of WWDR-4] [Publication: Green Accounting and Data Improvements for Water Resources] [Publication: Water and Sustainability – A Review of Targets, Tools and Regional Cases] [Publication: Water for Wealth and Food Security]