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N8 Debate: Food Security and Sustainable Water Supplies (Stockbridge)

Thursday 22 September 2011, 1630-1830
Stockbridge Technology Centre, Yorkshire

The N8 Research Partnership in conjunction with the NERC-funded Catchment Change Network and The Centre for Sustainable Water Management are supporting a series of debates during 2011 at the policy/technology interface, designed to highlight outstanding issues and begin to identify ways forward. These will be very much participative and interactive sessions led by a panel with an audience of invited guests.

Water stress is a major limitation to food production worldwide and is something currently impacting growers in Eastern England. Farmers estimate they will lose £400 million pounds worth of produce following the driest spring for over 100 years. Food and drink supply chains are large, complex and interconnected across the globe but all require sufficient water from agricultural production through to processing to ensure supply meets demand. Looking forward, agricultural productivity needs to continue to increase and will require more water to meet the demands of growing populations. The amount of water allocated to agriculture and water management choices will determine, to a large extent, whether societies achieve economic and social development and environmental sustainability.

In the third in our series of N8 Debates "Food Security and Sustainable Water Supplies" we will focus on the challenges and opportunities for innovation and management. Our panel will examine the pressures and impacts of increasing water demand, decreasing and highly variable water availability, rising water costs and more stringent environmental water quality standards on sustainable water management across food supply chains in an interconnected world. Outputs will take the form of policy guidance aimed at mapping an integrated way forward.

The debate will be chaired by Professor Tim Burt (Durham University) with input from:

Graham Ward, Stockbridge Technology Centre

Professor Bill Davies CBE, Lancaster University

Ian Bernard, British Water

Ashok Chapagain, WWF

Delegates are invited to network with the panel and each other after the debate over wine and cheese.

Registration

Panellists introduce the key issues for the debate