World Water Week opened today in Stockholm with industry executives and scientists from at least 100 nations discussing how to reduce food waste and use water more efficiently in agriculture and at home.
The Stockholm Industry Water Award will be given tomorrow to PepsiCo Inc., the world’s largest snack-food maker, for reducing water consumption in production and increasing water efficiency, saving almost 16 billion liters of water last year from a 2006 baseline.
“The numbers show that agriculture is a thirsty activity,” said Jose Graziano da Silva, director-general of the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization, or FAO. “But that also means that agriculture holds the key to sustainable water use.”
King Carl XVI Gustav of Sweden will award the Stockholm Water Prize to the International Water Management Institute for its agricultural water management work, said the event’s organizer, Stockholm International Water Institute.
The annual SIWI event started in 1991. The conference earlier discussed how to improve access to water in water-scarce areas and boost supplies in an urbanizing world. This year’s agenda addresses how to curb so much of the world’s water being used to grow food that’s thrown away.
“Reducing the waste of food is the smartest and most direct route to relieve pressure on water and land resources,” said Torgny Holmgren, SIWI’s executive director. “It’s an opportunity we cannot afford to overlook.”