New Challenges Linking Water, Climate, and Food Security

Tuesday, 16 December 2014: 4:00 PM
Peter Henry Gleick, Pacific Institute, Oakland, CA, United States
The strong links among water, climate, and food issues have long been acknowledged, but rarely studied in science or policy because of the complex interactions among local and global factors such as climate change, trade, markets, and politics. As pressures on water resources grow due to “peak water” constraints, the agricultural sector will be disproportionately affected because farmers currently use the vast majority of water mobilized by humans, are especially sensitive to climatic variability and change, and typically pay far less for water than urban and industrial users. There are economic, security, and political challenges associated with these climate impacts. This presentation will look at the interactions among the water, climate, and food sectors, drawing on experience from recent extreme events in hot spots such as the severe drought in California and the drought in the eastern Mediterranean affecting the Tigris and Euphrates river basins.