World Food Day takes place annually on 16 October and promotes awareness of hunger and action for the future of food, people, and the planet.
The 2023 event shines a spotlight on water as the foundation for life and food. The campaign raises awareness about the importance of managing water wisely, because the availability of this precious resource is threatened by rapid population growth, urbanisation, economic development, and climate change.
Water scarcity is one of the foremost development issues of our time. The result is less water for drinking, growing food and producing needed goods, and for sustaining the ecosystems we depend upon.
Facts and Figures
95% of food is produced on land and all begins with soil and water.
Agriculture accounts for 72% of global freshwater withdrawals. Another 16% goes to municipalities for households and services, and 12% is used by industries.
Global water demand for agriculture is expected to increase 35% by 2050.
2.4 billion people live in water‑stressed countries. Some 10% of the global population live in countries with high and critical water stress.
Since 2000, flood-related disasters have increased by 134%. The number and duration of droughts increased by 29%.
17% of food available to consumers worldwide is thrown away each year, wasting precious water used to produce it.
Managing water more wisely starts with building partnerships. Governments need to collaborate with researchers, businesses, and civil society to build solutions that guarantee water security for future generations.
Governments need to design science and evidence‑based policies. Water, energy, and food are linked, and for policies to be successful, it is important to manage often‑competing interests without compromising the health of ecosystems.
Businesses need to become water stewards.
Farmers need to become agents of water management and be equipped with the right tools to do so sustainably.
Without action, we are on course to increase water use by more than a third by 2050. It’s time to work together and create a better, more sustainable future for all.