Finding solutions to reuse the water used in agriculture and livestock is key to preserve it. The first reaction when talking about water scarcity is to think about the lack of water to drink. An amount per person that revolves around two liters per day.
But we do not think so much about the water we eat. And that, on average, it takes between 2,000 and 5,000 liters of water to produce food that a person ingests daily, according to data from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).
Only 0.003% of the planet’s water is sweet, and 70% of it is used in agricultural activities. Producing a kilo of cereal consumes between one and three tons of water. One kilo of meat, up to 15 … It is estimated that by 2050 the production of food will have to be increased enormously to feed a world population that will reach 9,000 million people. If, as predicted by FAO, the food produced from irrigation has to grow 50% by then, and the agricultural sector only has a margin of 10% to increase its water consumption, the magnitude of the problem is clear.
Another issue in vogue is the management of wastewater for reuse in agricultural production. More and more countries, such as Egypt, Jordan, Mexico, Spain or the United States are exploring ways to give this resource a second life. The key resists finding a way to do it safely, eliminating pathogens, chemical elements, antibiotics and other waste that may be harmful to farmers or those who will eventually consume the food produced with these waters.
Research on treatment – be it natural, wetlands, forestry projects, or technology, with decontamination plants – is the way to explore a new way to take advantage of and save water. In Jordan, for example, recovered water is already 25% of total consumption in the country.
At Gestiriego we work on promoting ways to use less water and do it more efficiently. We also remember the need to reduce food waste and waste, because all the water used to generate those foods goes to waste with them.