Presidential Memorandum Announces Long-Term Sustainable Measures

By Silvia Gutierrez, GMC EDITOR

9.3 billion individuals will depend on freshwater in 2050, according to the United Nations (UN) Department of Economic Social Affairs. On a global scale, freshwater withdrawals have increased by approximately one percent per year since the 1980’s. Without improved efficiency measures, water consumption could lead to a thirsty and hungry world.

Sustainable resource management may be a measure for having better quality and quantity of freshwater. The UN World Water Assessment Programme reported that the agriculture sector represents 70 percent of worldwide freshwater withdrawals. By 2050, that amount is expected to increase to 90 percent.

While hindered by population growth, farmers must manage available freshwater despite other pressing challenges such as climate change, groundwater depletion and water scarcity.

Last month, President Obama authorized a Memorandum on Building National Capabilities for Long-Term Drought Resilience. The new directive calls upon sustainability efforts in order to protect communities and agricultural production from the impacts of drought. The Federal Government, along with heads of executive departments and agencies, must prepare for long-term solutions.

Over the next 20 years, the UN estimates that the U.S. will make a total investment of $1 trillion towards sustainable resource management to help improve water productivity worldwide. How will the foreseen investments benefit the agriculture sector while it’s helping feed 9.3 billion consumers?

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