President International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage
Chair Global Framework on Water 
Scarcity in Agriculture

Innovative Systems to Respond to Water Scarcity

Water gives life and is crucial to development all over the world. It waters the fields; nurtures the crops and stock; provides recreation; it support mines, industry; electricity generation and it provide life for plants and animals that make up ecosystems. Cairo Water Week 2020 (CWW) with the theme: “Water Security in Arid Regions” – the Road to Dakar 2021”, emphasize how important water is as an essential asset to all aspects of our lives to give effect to the Sustainable Development Goals. Linking to that is the importance of the role of the youth and Third African Young Water Professionals Forum at CWW with their theme: “Innovative Systems to Respond to Water Scarcity” focus on the importance of technology to address water scarcity and to optimise water use by building the capacity of young professionals and creating a new generation capable for facing future water challenges. Water scarcity is one of the greatest challenges of the twenty-first century and Agriculture, encompassing crops, livestock, fisheries, aquaculture and forestry, is both a cause and a victim of water scarcity. It accounts for 70% of the global water withdrawals. With the world’s population that is projected to reach 9.7 billion by 2050 and as water stress spreads around the globe, ways have to be found of getting more crop per drop to meet our food needs. Cairo2020 WATER WEEK Cairo2020 WATER WEEK The Global Framework on Water Scarcity in Agriculture’s vision is “A world whose food systems are secure and resilient to increasing water scarcity in a changing climate” with the objective to urgently address the following important and relevant work areas, to name but a few at international and country levels: Sharing and disseminating knowledge and experience; Developing new or improved solutions; Promoting sustainable and integrated water resources management and Building capacity of Partners and countries and other Stakeholders. The International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage’s Vision 2030 is “A water secure world free of poverty and hunger” and in summary states as follows: “Water, as the main input for food production, has played the most significant role in population growth and societal evolution over much of the recorded human history. Numerous civilizations flourished and then also became extinct because of the way they managed their agricultural water. By being a direct or indirect part of 7 out of 17 Sustainable Development Goals, water assumes inclusive dimension both as a natural resource for rural development and an essential input commodity for industrial and human (life-style) consumption. CWW provide the opportunity for ICID and WASAG together with National committees, Partners and water related organisations to stand together to innovate, implement and disseminate innovative systems to respond to water scarcity. We in the water field succeeds not because we are big, or because we have been long established, but because there are people building it, who live it, sleep it, dream it, believe in it and build great future plans for it.

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