Food, farming, livelihoods—no matter what you’re looking at, water is there, and when it’s not, things start to fall apart. California is facing currently its worst drought on record. Australia, too, with Queensland currently home to the state’s largest drought-declared area on record. With agriculture accounting for close to 70 percent of water withdrawals, the connection to our food supply is basic and utterly obvious.
The Committee on World Food Security (CFS), established in 1974, is the foremost international and intergovernmental forum trying to address global food security and nutrition. Following the food crisis of the 2007-08, it was reformed to be a more inclusive body, with a Private Sector Mechanism (PSM, representing the interests of agri-businesses and food profiteers) and Civil Society Mechanism (CSM, representing the interests of small-scale producers, workers and those advocating their rights) participating alongside governments and donor agencies. They also created a High level panel of Experts (HLPE) to help them in identifying the problems and to bring expert knowledge to the attention of the CFS.
The HLPE report on water and food security is expected to put together information on how countries and regions currently manage their water; analyze water use and management practices from a food security lens; and provide recommendations so as to improve water and food security policies, with a long-term perspective. As part of its report elaboration process, the HLPE conducted an e-consultation to seek feedback and comments, on the proposed scope and building blocks of the report. Over the next year, the six-member HLPE project team will build on this to produce a draft report that will be available for comments early next year. The final report will be presented to CFS 42 in October 2015.