It's the World Water Week here in Stockholm and among many important topics discussed under the week's thematic focus "Water and food security", the reduction of food waste came into focus early. It was described as "the smartest and most direct route to relieve pressure on water and land resources" by Torgny Holmgren, executive director of the Stockholm International Water Institute, at the opening of World Water Week.
This food and water waste is the result of a very ironic situation. Whereas over 900 million people suffer from hunger, 1.5 billion people overeat and over one-third of all food is lost or wasted. “More than one-fourth of all the water we use worldwide is taken to grow over one billion tons of food that nobody eats. That water, together with the billions of dollars spent to grow, ship, package and purchase the food, is sent down the drain”, said Torgny Holmgren, in a press release.
Over 100 sessions take place throughout the week, discussing different solutions to ensure that the planets limited water resources can meet the needs of growing economies and support a healthy global population. They also deal with innovations and successful practices to provide clean water and safe sanitation to the over two billion people who live without sustainable access to these basic services. Half of the cases of malnutrition worldwide result from illness and infection from dirty water or unhygienic sanitation.
SDU's collaborating partner Stockholm Resilience Centre organises and takes part in several sessions during the week, for instance today's (August 30) Water Prize Seminar "Food for Billions: The Need for a Holistic View".
The World Water Week is an annual meeting place for the planet’s most urgent water-related issues. Organised by the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI), it brings together thousands of experts, practitioners, decision makers and business innovators from around the world to exchange ideas and develop solutions.
Later today (August 30), the Swedish king Carl XVI Gustav will present the Stockholm Water Prize to the International Water Management Institute, IWMI, for their work to improve agriculture water management, enhance food security, protect environmental health and alleviate poverty in developing countries.