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Water and Food Insecurity in Developing Countries:Major Challenges for the 21st Century

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  • Patrick Webb

Abstract

World population is projected to reach almost 8 billion people around the year 2025 (UN 1999). This expected increase has raised considerable debate about the world's ability to meet future food needs (Rosegrant et. al. 2001a; Scanes and Miranowski 2004). However, food is only one serious concern. The implications of a parallel, but related, growth in demand for water are profound and far-reaching. Already more than 1 billion people live without access to clean water, many of whom inhabit developing countries classified as 'water scarce'2. Yet the number of water-scarce countries is expected to rise to 30 by the year 2025, of which 21 will be low-income food-deficit countries home to 1.8 billion people (IWMI 2000). The task of ensuring adequate access to water will therefore be one of the most difficult challenges facing development professionals in the 21st century; at least as hard as ensuring food security.

Suggested Citation

  • Patrick Webb, 2005. "Water and Food Insecurity in Developing Countries:Major Challenges for the 21st Century," Working Papers in Food Policy and Nutrition 29, Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy.
  • Handle: RePEc:fsn:wpaper:29
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    File URL: http://www.nutrition.tufts.edu/documents/fpan/wp29-water_food_insecurity.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Hoddinott, John, 1997. "Water, health, and income," FCND discussion papers 25, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    2. Haddad, Lawrence James & Bhattarai, Saroj & Immink, Maarten D. C. & Kumar, Shubh K., 1996. "Managing interactions between household food security and preschooler health:," 2020 vision discussion papers 16, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    3. Rosegrant, Mark W. & Paisner, Michael S. & Meijer, Siet & Witcover, Julie, 2001. "2020 Global food outlook," Food policy reports 30, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    4. Rosegrant, Mark W. & Cai, Ximing & Cline, Sarah A., 2002. "Global water outlook to 2025," Food policy reports 14, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    5. Whittington, Dale & Lauria, Donald T. & Mu, Xinming, 1991. "A study of water vending and willingness to pay for water in Onitsha, Nigeria," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 19(2-3), pages 179-198.
    6. Webb, Patrick, 1989. "Intrahousehold decisionmaking and resource control: The effects of rice commercialization in West Africa," IFPRI working papers 3, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    7. Haddad, Lawrence James & Bhattarai, Saroj & Immink, Maarten D. C. & Kumar, Shubh K., 1996. "Managing interactions between household food security and preschooler health," FCND discussion papers 16, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    8. Meinzen-Dick, Ruth Suseela, 1996. "Groundwater markets in Pakistan: participation and productivity," Research reports 105, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    9. AndrÈs GÛmez-Lobo & Dante Contreras, 2003. "Water Subsidy Policies: A Comparison of the Chilean and Colombian Schemes," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 17(3), pages 391-407, December.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    food security; water; developing countries;

    JEL classification:

    • Q25 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Water
    • F35 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Foreign Aid
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products

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