Water for Food Security : Challenges for Pakistan
Pakistan’s water management is at a critical watershed. Water shortages are growing rapidly as a result of growing demand across all water-using sectors. Rapid population growth, from 175 million people in 2010 to an estimated 236 million by 2030 and 280 million by 2050, and international food-price spikes create pressure to increase agricultural production of staples; but demand for cash crops is also growing rapidly to raise rural incomes and generate rural employment to absorb the relatively young, rapidly growing rural population. Water management is also increasingly affected by climate change – including an increased number of flood and drought events – and by growing energy shortages, which affect how water is being sourced and used. Last but not least, Pakistan’s political situation is fragile, which has reduced incentives to invest in enhanced agricultural water (and other) technologies. How Pakistan addresses these challenges will be decisive for its future water and food security, economic growth, and environmental sustainability. It will also affect water and food outcomes globally, due to the interconnectedness of global food trade. This book is geared toward researchers, policymakers, and investors in the water, energy and food sectors who want to learn about key drivers that affect Pakistan’s water and food security and have an interest to contribute to water and related solutions, several of which are presented in the book.
This book was published as a special issue of Water International.