Scarce water a growing worry: FAO
Water security is an urgent issue that every country needs to address. This message was sent yesterday during a seminar on "Global to Local: Sustainability of Water by Science" at Sustainability Expo 2022 held at the Queen Sirikit National Convention Center.
The UN Food and Agriculture Organization's (FAO) Water Governance Specialist, Carlee Wright, said that while international society is concerned about food security, with estimates that the world will produce 50% more food by 2050, there will be less water due to the increasing demand for it to produce food.
Rapid urbanisation and industrialisation have polluted our waters, making much of it unsafe for consumption and agricultural use, she said.
"Climate change also affects the water cycle and causes a change in water availability for consumption, such as in agriculture," she added.
To address the problem, the FAO launched the Asia Pacific Water Scarcity Programme -- now in its second phase -- and stressed the need for water accounting and water allocation.
Water accounting is the method of knowing how, where and when a country will have water, and the amount it needs both now and in the future, she said.
Sutat Weesakul, director of the Hydro-Informatics Institute, said water management is a challenge the country has been facing for a long time.
In recent years, rainfall has risen 1.8 times, and droughts are 1.2 times more frequent while the demand for water in the nation eclipses what Thai reservoirs can accommodate, he said.
Over 70% of the country's water resources are not tied to farmland irrigation systems, creating inequality in terms of access, he noted.
He said the institute tried to find a solution by launching the "Thai Water" app that allows people to obtain water information around water usage and availability on their mobile phones.