[ASC-media] Competing Demands for Water - Global Implications of Water Scarcity

Cathy Reade creade at squirrel.com.au
Fri Aug 11 05:51:18 CEST 2006

11 August

International Water/Food Specialists

While Australia’s water concerns have focussed lately on the ‘yuk’ factor of
water recycling, and the cost and likelihood of large infrastructure
projects, the global implications of water scarcity and the effects of
competition for water between cities, agriculture, industry and nature are
arguably more concerning.

For the first time in world history, demand for water for non-agricultural
uses is growing more rapidly than it is for agricultural purposes, and the
competition for water is likely to be at the expense of irrigation. Yet
there are billions who depend on irrigated agriculture.

The social, economic and environmental implications of water scarcity will
be addressed at “Water for Irrigated Agriculture and the Environment:
Finding a Flow for All”, in Parliament House, Canberra on 16 August.

International and national leaders and specialists in the broad range of
water issues of interest in Australia and globally, will be available for
interviews on issues such as:
-	the expected extent of water scarcity,
-	the likely effect of water scarcity on future food supplies, food prices
and water prices,
-	the role of climate change,
-	technologies under development to avert the water scarcity/food supply
-	possible improvements to irrigated agriculture, and what Australian
farmers are doing;
-	how we can reduce water use by agriculture while maintaining yield and
incomes, and
-	finding a balance between water for agriculture and for nature.

The conference will be opened by The Hon. Alexander Downer, Minister for
Foreign Affairs and addressed by The Hon. Malcolm Turnbull, Parliamentary
Secretary with special responsibility for water policy. International and
national speakers include:
º	Dr Frank Rijsberman, Director-General, International Water Management
Institute, (the world's pre-eminent research institution on management of
water for food and agriculture), who departs Australia to address the
Stockholm Water Week event
º	Dr Mark Rosegrant, from the Washington-based food policy think-tank, the
International Food Policy Research Institute, who will explain how we can
avert a possible crisis over the threat to global food supply due to water
º	Speakers from China, India and Australia who will explain efforts to
balance the demands for water for agriculture and nature in Yellow
River/China, Mekong, India and Murray-Darling basins

Further info at http://www.crawfordfund.org/events/conference06media.htm or
contact Cathy Reade on 0413 575 934

The ATSE Crawford Fund wishes to thank the sponsors and supporters of this
event including Alliance of Future Harvest Centers of the CGIAR; AusAID -
the Australian Agency for International Development; Australian Centre for
International Agricultural Research; Australian Government Department of
Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry; Australian Government Department of the
Environment and Heritage; CRC for Irrigation Futures; CSIRO Land and Water;
CSIRO Livestock Industries; Grains Research and Development Corporation;
International Water Management Institute; Land & Water Australia;
Murray-Darling Basin Commission; National Water Commission
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