Water security underpins food security as crops and livestock need water to grow. Agriculture and dairy are two major industries within the Great South Coast. Ensuring an adequate supply of quality water ensures the continued ability to support these industries as 70% of water consumption is for agricultural needs.
Food security is at its essence, access to healthy food and optimal nutrition. Food access is closely linked to food supply, so food security is dependent on a healthy and sustainable food system. The food system includes the production (agriculture), processing, distribution, marketing, affordability, and consumption of food. Food security for a location requires a region to not only produce healthy food, but also have it accessible to the community at affordable prices. Fewer people are choosing to farm (threatening production), food prices are rising (due to globalisation), and transport costs are rising due to an increase in fuel prices. Access to quality, nutritional food is becoming less affordable for those on marginal incomes (over-represented in the rural/regional areas).
While food production relies heavily on access to water, other factors such as the right governance frameworks, use of improved seeds and farming methods, post-harvest handling of crops, reliable and affordable energy, and government policies (agricultural subsidies and trade policies) all play a critical role in achieving food security. Climate change (floods/drought), bushfires and other disasters, as well as globalisation is impacting on food and water security. As the population expands, competition for land use between agriculture and urban planning will require careful leadership and regulation to ensure sustainability to meet future needs.
If you have any information to add to this element, please submit it via the following form: