Water and Food Insecurity
It is evident that water and food insecurity are one in the same problem. It is apparent that we cannot survive without food and water. The domestic animals we rear at home cannot survive without food. The whole idea of water and food insecurity can be treated as one issue of concern because water is the source of all foods we have at our disposal. In a nutshell, livestock and crops cannot thrive without water. Agricultural processes are believed to be the most activities that require a significant amount of water to avail enough food to the citizens. While united nation ensures right to clean drinking water, less information is provided regarding water on food production. Rural residents depend on natural resources such rivers for agriculture. While there is enough water to cater for food insecurity, rules should be established to guide people on how to make use of available water properly. Therefore, in-depth analysis of causes and responses to diet and water insecurity is bound to shed light on the subject.
Ideally, the concept of diet and water insecurity can be understood by treating the two elements under one roof. Water insecurity is proved to have been in existence due to environmental degradation (Misra 2014). This entails undesirable activities by the human to deteriorate the ecosystem. Water, air, and soil are depleted hence contributing to water shortage as well as food insecurity. Deforestation has been one of the causes of water scarcity because of reduced water catchment areas. On the same note, felling down of trees contributes to reduced rains since the rate of transpiration is lowered.
That is, moisture cannot be availed in the air to form clouds without trees. This poses a significant threat to the lives of people because water is directly related to food productivity. Scientifically, environmental disturbance such as deforestation contributes to climate change due to lower uptake of carbon dioxide gas by the plants (Wheeler and Von, 2013, 510). In Indonesia deforestation has become prevalent leading to water shortage that has resulted in food insecurity as well. In fact, sound response towards achieving a water and food security is by encouraging people to plant trees as well as taking care of the current ones.
Water degradation implies that the available fresh water sources are polluted such that food production and animal rearing is threatened. Human activities are the primary cause of water insecurity (Bizikova, Roy, Swanson, Venema & McCandless, 2013). Growing of crops and rearing of animals requires fresh water. This significant activity has been curtailed following practices such as disposal of sewages into water catchment areas such as rivers and dams. The aquatic animals such as fish; protein rich foods are killed. The disposing chemical containing containers in rivers renders water unsuitable for irrigation as well as feeding our animals. This is a clear indication that water insecurity and food shortage becomes a real scenario. Increased use of excess fertilizers on our farms indicates that during heavy rains all these additives are swept into rivers, polluting water at greater heights.
Effluents from industries take part in polluting the water (Bizikova 2013). One 0f the worst scenario related to water pollution was experienced in India in 1984 when toxic gases leaked from Union Carbide released in rivers by one of the industries. Many animals died after consuming the contaminated water. Worst of it, most people were killed therefore reducing labor force hence leading to food and water insecurity. The problem can be addressed by establishing rules to guide industrious on disposal of effluents away from water sources to render water suitable for irrigation and feeding the animals.
Soil pollution leads to food insecurity. Many at times, land degradation is highly linked with farming practices as well as mining. Application of excess fertilizers possibly obeys the law of diminishing returns at the end of the process (Lawford et al. 2013). That is, an increase of extra packet of fertilizer leads to reduced productivity per unit. This is because continuous use of the same quality of nutrients that becomes harmful to the land. Mining also is another contributing factor towards food insecurity. In this case, the large piece of land is cleared to pave in a bit to set the stage for mining purposes. The fact with mining is that the soil profile is destroyed as well as interfering with the ground microorganisms which are responsible for aeration. Once the extraction process is complete, it becomes difficult to reclaim the farm for cultivation.
This is due to pollution nature of the soil to support crops of any variety. Littering of the environment with waste materials such as polyethylene papers and plastics leads to poor food productivity (Rasul & Sharma 2016). For example, China experiences soil pollution, a situation that renders the nation in dire need of food. The issue can be attended by enforcing guidelines that ensure mining companies incorporate high technology to ensure they occupy only a small space. This practice will ensure that enough land is left for farming and other related activities. Garbage collection and establishment of ways of keeping our farms clean should be enhanced.
Population plays a significant role in the enhancement of food and water insecurity. Commonly, increasing population lends a hand in the clearing of forests in search of shelter (Berry, Dernini, Burlingame, Meybeck & Conforti 2015). This transforms a farm that was previously productive into a desert as people cut down trees for timber. Exposing bare soils is a welcome move towards soil erosion. During floods, the top soils are carried away rendering the land unproductive. Similarly, increasing population is inversely proportional to the availability of lands for cultivation. This postulation has it that as the population growth, burning of forests for agriculture is strengthened hence reducing the number of trees in the area. The results are that more of the carbon dioxide will be released into the environment hence leading to global warming.
Global warming entails water sources are going to dry at a faster rate through evaporation turning the ground into a dry land. This will undoubtedly lead to food and water insecurity. A good example is India population that has risen to the extent of building houses on graves. People for shelter purposes have invaded enormous portions of forests. Likewise, most people have indulged in charcoal burning and timber sourcing activities to earn a living. On the other hand, causes and responses to food insecurity seem to negate the fact that population is the key.
China that is the most populated nation rare complains of food shortage. This is because the government has invested in educating people who later discover new ways of farming without having to destroy the forests. Therefore, food shortage can be associated with the level of education attained in particular nations. This issue can be addressed by ensuring that people are acquainted with relevant information concerning advanced methods of farming Sheffield et al., 2014, 873). Family planning methods should also be enhanced to contain birth rates hence reducing forests destruction.
In conclusion, it is right that causes and responses to food and water insecurity are not different at all. Environmental degradation and population are the two principal causes of diet and water insecurity. Responses to the variables of the two mentioned factors, population, and environmental pollution, have been discussed to aid in discovering food and water surplus for better living of the people. In brief, human activities should be monitored to realize a healthy and sustainable environment.
Berry, E.M., Dernini, S., Burlingame, B., Meybeck, A. and Conforti, P., 2015. Food security and sustainability: can one exist without the other?. Public health nutrition, 18(13), pp.2293-2302.
Bizikova, L., Roy, D., Swanson, D., Venema, H.D. and McCandless, M., 2013. The water-energy-food security nexus: Towards a practical planning and decision-support framework for landscape investment and risk management. International Institute for Sustainable Development. 33-41
Lawford, R., Bogardi, J., Marx, S., Jain, S., Wostl, C.P., Knüppe, K., Ringler, C., Lansigan, F. and Meza, F., 2013. Basin perspectives on the water–energy–food security nexus. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 5(6), pp.607-616.
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Rasul, G. and Sharma, B., 2016. The nexus approach to water–energy–food security: an option for adaptation to climate change. Climate Policy, 16(6), pp.682-702.
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Wheeler, T. and Von Braun, J., 2013. Climate change impacts on global food security. Science, 341(6145), pp.508-513.