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FAO Releases Survey on Water Scarcity and Food Production

9 June 2011: The Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) has released a report titled "Climate Change, Water and Food Security," which is a survey of existing scientific knowledge on the anticipated consequences of climate change for water use in agriculture. The report highlights the likelihood of increased water scarcity in the Mediterranean region, as well as semi-arid areas of the Americas, Australia, and Southern Africa.

The report also highlights that those areas that rely on snowmelt and mountain glaciers will be particularly impacted. It notes that rainfall is expected to increase in the tropics and higher latitudes, but that in semi-arid and mid-arid latitudes rainfall is likely to decrease. As rainfall patterns change, the report warns that there will likely be an increase in exploitation of groundwater. It recommends that countries implement water accounting systems to inform how resources can be managed and used under increased variability. The report also describes suitable farming techniques such as changing cropping patterns, changing water use and irrigation, shifting to soil moisture conservation practices and planting deep-rooted crops. [UN Press Release]  [Publication: Climate Change, Water and Food Security] [FAO Press Release]