The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) and Jain Irrigations Systems Ltd, on Saturday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to set up a 'Resource Centre on Water Use Efficiency'. This is an effort to address the current and future challenges of water and food security.
The MoU marks the beginning of a new chapter in carrying out comprehensive research on the themes of water use efficiency at the farm level, water conservation and regeneration practices along with more efficient farm system practices, according to TERI.
Speaking on the occasion, TERI director-general Dr R K Pachauri said, ''The MoU signing between TERI and Jain Irrigation Systems Ltd. (JISL) is a unique example of a partnership between a business organisation like JISL and a knowledge organisation like TERI. The world is facing acute problems with growing water stress, limited resources of fossil fuels, malnutrition and hunger.
''The activities carried out by JISL and TERI will help in bringing about innovation, and assessing institutional solutions and policy options by which those parts of the world which suffer from deficiencies in energy, water and food supply can benefit from this partnership. The signing of the MoU heralds a strong partnership between the two organizations, JISL and TERI.''
Anil Jain, managing director of JISL, said, ''TERI and JISL are active in a number of common areas such as water systems efficiency, watershed planning and irrigation efficiency. Both institutions believe that through collaboration, they can enhance their efforts in achieving water use efficiency, particularly in the agriculture sector, besides basic research, knowledge exchange and dissemination policy advocacy.''
The high level dialogue held during the Delhi Sustainable Development Summit (DSDS) focused on enhancing water use efficiency, keeping in view the challenges associated with sustainable use of natural resources, energy and food security in the developing nations in general, and India in particular. The discussions identified the challenges and opportunities in achieving energy, water and food security and particularly deliberated on regional disparities in crop-water productivity as well as efficiency.
Water, energy and food are inextricably linked and water scarcity would destabilize the balance, the participants said. With increasing complexities of peak demand, inefficient use and added risks due to climate change, the challenge of water availability is set to be the greatest challenge of the 21st century.
Water for energy currently amounts to about 8 per cent of global water withdrawals. Food production and the supply chain is responsible for around 30 per cent of total global energy demand. Food production is the largest user of water at the global level, responsible for 80–90 per cent of consumptive blue water use. By 2050 - with 9.2 billion people sharing the planet - it is expected that there will be a 70 per cent increase in agricultural demand for food and 40 per cent energy increase in demand. Yet by 2030, the world will confront water supply shortage of approximately 40 per cent.
Sustainable management of water resources in agriculture and all other sectors requires a multidisciplinary approach that incorporates many disciplines of study to move towards more efficient management and use of water. In general, a comprehensive approach to resolving the inefficiencies of water use and the institutional reform processes that will govern them require inputs from policymakers, scientists, engineers, farmers and civil society institutions, the participants said. The high level dialogue enabled the forging of a platform to take the discussions forward.