Water and Food Security
Maria Cristina Rulli
This course is aimed to analyze the constraints and challenges of ensuring an adequate supply of water and food in the face of changes in the environmental forcings, human population dimension and habits and energy policies.
The hydrological cycle
The hydrological balance
Water Functions in the life support system-Water availability –Water resource estimates
Human Water Requirements-Household and industrial water needs-Water use vs consumptive water use-Water requirements for food production
Water security and food security definition
The paradigm of water scarcity-Physical vs economic water scarcity
The virtual water concept-virtual water trade
The water footprint -Green water-Blue water-Grey water
Water Perspectives on Feeding Humanity- Additional water requirements to feed humanity by 2050-yield gap closure
Rainfed agriculture vs Irrigated agriculture-evaluation of cropwater requirement- Analysis of water stress on crop growth.
Water harvesting strategies
Finding the Balance between Water for Humans and for Nature
Land sparing vs Land sharing
Impacts of Intensive agriculture- Soil erosion- Land degradation-Deforestation
Large scale land acquisition (LSLA)- Overview of the issue-Land grabbing-Water acquisition associated to LSLA- Effects on water resources- Effect on Food Security
Climate change- Overview of the concept of climate change- Climate change effects on agriculture and food security
Food waste issue-The food waste in developed and in developing countries-Food waste impact on food security
Effects of the environmental catastrophes on food security- Floods, hurricanes, droughts-Typhoon
The Food-Energy-Water nexus-water for food production-present diet-balanced diet-changing diet scenario
The Food-Energy-Water nexus-Water for Energy production: 1) Hydroelectric; 2) Biofuel; 3) Fracking; 4) Tar sands
The Food-Energy-Water nexus-Competition for water between food and energy
The course is delivered in English through lectures, seminars, practicals and case studies.
An examination is held at the end of the course. The exam format is either a written test and a coursework essay (oral presentation).