Brussels Policy Briefing 56 : The Land-Water-Energy Nexus And The Sustainability Of The Food System
Global trends such as increasing population, rising incomes, income disparity, urbanization, and resource extraction are applying tremendous pressure on our ability to secure clean and adequate water supplies, nutritious and available food supplies, as well as sustainable and secure energy supplies. In the coming decades, growing populations with higher incomes will drive a strong increase in global demand for goods and services. Global gross domestic product (GDP) is projected to quadruple between 2011 and 2060, according to the central baseline scenario projected with the OECD ENV-Linkages model. By 2060, the global average per capita income is projected to reach the current OECD level (around USD 40 000). Production and consumption are shifting towards emerging and developing economies, which have higher materials intensity.1
In most of the analyzed scenarios, the temperature shows a significant increase in all SubSaharan Africa regions, while the yearly distribution of the precipitation does not follow the same increasing pattern, with the majority of climate models projecting decreases in annual precipitation that reach 20% by 2080. At the same time, it is expected that the agricultural production will require larger water quantities for irrigation, to maintain and increase the output. Thus, scaling up the efficient and sustainable utilization of both surface and groundwater resources is absolutely necessary to adapt to a dynamically changing environment and the increasing needs for food production.