Food Security & Water Access

The realization by Leonardo da Vinci that Water is the driving force of all nature has only been surpassed by Hippocrates’: “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”  Everything is inter-related. We cannot speak of food security when the environment in which people live is increasingly degraded or when basic public health services are not available. Food security is thus an outcome of a complex system spanning health, education, agricultural research and extension, a safer environment, the empowerment of women, and more (essentially the entirety of the Sustainable Development Goals). One component alone, access to sufficient and safe water, is at the heart. Demand for water is growing exponentially as the world population grows and as agricultural intensification continues. At the same time, supplies are dwindling, in part due to climate change. Yet all the fresh water in our lakes and rivers is the result of naturally occurring desalination processes which nature does year round.

New technological approaches to food security should be but one component of any viable and effective strategy. Others should include organizational processes which could include how institutions share their resources—and knowledge—through creative intellectual property strategies and management approaches, and might include modern applications of blockchain solutions to more closely integrate producers with consumers, increase brand recognition and value, and enable the higher retention of value added by smallholder producers.