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FCC report: ag’s role in water sustainability


March 11, 2013
By Farm Credit Canada

March 11, 2013, Regina — The future of global water supply and security
has been a topic of growing international dialogue and debate.

March 11, 2013, Regina — The future of global water supply and security has been a topic of growing international dialogue and debate.

The latest edition of the FCC Knowledge Insider highlights Canada’s unique position as a water-rich country and a major consumer of water, as well as implications for the agriculture industry.

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“Canadian agriculture needs a significant amount of water and energy to meet the growing global demand for food,” says Kellie Garrett, FCC senior vice-president of strategy, knowledge and reputation.

“That’s why monitoring water trends, being strategic about our water usage, and managing risks in agricultural operations are critical. This edition of the FCC Knowledge Insider asks some important questions and highlights operations that are already changing practices to optimize water use.”

Canada is one of the largest global consumers of fresh water per capita. Agriculture, a major consumer of water and producer of food and energy, plays an important role in the water-food-energy nexus – the interplay between the energy and water needed to create food.

Some highlights from this edition include:

• The link between human impact, climate change and the quality and availability of global water resources.

• Exploring opportunities for Canada to become more water smart and provide viable solutions.

• Inspiration from Canadian agribusiness owners who are changing their water practices and strategies to better prepare for the future.

Experts predict as much as a 40 per cent gap between water supply and future demand.

“The agriculture industry has a big stake in shaping the future of water,” Garrett says. “From decisions about water management to technological innovations, there is a lot to learn from other agribusiness owners who are already making big strides in these areas.”

Harvest Power is one of the businesses profiled in the Knowledge Insider. The company built its London plant to convert food waste to energy and fertilizer, while investing 25 per cent of the project cost on wastewater treatment.

Co-founder Paul McMenemy says water became a key element of this plant.

“Roughly 95 per cent of the 60,000 tonnes of food waste processed each year in the London operation … is composed of water. As an industrial company in a mixed residential-industrial farming area, we recognized the importance of being a good neighbour and minimizing environmental impacts.”

A webinar titled Water Security and Food Production on Tuesday, March 12 also highlights how some Canadian and U.S. agribusinesses are helping to build a more secure future for water. Click here to register.

Knowledge Insider shares insights about how farmers and agribusinesses can prepare for success in a changing world. Click here for a complete copy as well as past issues can be found at www.fcc.ca/insider.


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