Sustainable water management reduces the risk of food crises

Sustainable water management reduces the risk of food crises

International Association for Agricultural Sustainability (IAAS) held the webinar “Sustainable Water Management in Agriculture” on 25 March 2022. This webinar successfully gathered more than 400 scholars and industry professionals from 53 countries.

Dr. Tzong-Ru Lee, Chairman of International Association for Agricultural Sustainability (IAAS) and professor of National Chung Hsing University, highlighted in his opening speech that according to a study by The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 70 per cent of the world’s water use is for agricultural irrigation and the remaining 30 per cent is for industrial use and people’s livelihoods. But climate change, coupled with a growing global population that demands more food, has made water management a serious and urgent issue.

The webinar was kicked off by the guest speaker, Dr. Jason Tang, Director of Environmental & Water Technology Centre of Innovation (EWTCOI), Singapore. Dr. Tang introduced that EWTCOI was established in 2006 with the support of The Enterprise of Singapore (ESG) and consists of 25 interdisciplinary research experts. EWTCOI addresses issues in water management, energy efficiency and waste management, and circular economy for businesses in Singapore and Southeast Asia.

Next, Dr. Ming-Che Hu, the Professor of Sustainable Development Laboratory at the Department of Bioenvironmental Systems Engineering, National Taiwan University, shared with us the spectrum optimisation analysis of water systems connected to water supply systems, which can accurately improve the allocation and utilisation of water resources.

Followed by Dr. Uri Shani, the Founder of N-Drip and professor at Hebrew University of Jerusalem, to explain why gravitational drip is an ultimate alternative to flood irrigation and how it mitigates the global water shortage enabling farmers precise, cost-efficient, and sustainable solutions.

Most intriguing session of the webinar was the panel discussion. It was moderated by Dr. Wee Liang Tan, Associate Professor of Strategic Management at Singapore Management University (SMU) and composed of Dr. Jason Tang, Director of Environmental & Water Technology Centre of Innovation (EWTCOI), Singapore, Mr ER. A. B. Pandya, Secretary General of International Commission on Irrigation & Drainage (ICID) Central Office, India, and Dr. Hwa-Lung Yu, Vice President of International Commission on Irrigation & Drainage (ICID) Chinese Taipei Committee, Professor and Chairman of Bioenvironmental Systems Engineering at National Taiwan University.

During the panel discussion, Dr. Hwa-Lung Yu mentioned that Taiwan is currently focusing on the following key issues: Optimization of the national irrigation system, Groundwater management and Water reclamation and reuse. “I believe that achieving sustainable water resources is a major and complex project, and it needs to be improved from four aspects: economy, technology, sustainability, and education.” Mr ER. A. B. Pandya summed up years of experience at the end of the panel discussion.

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