In the face of a growing world population and limited water resources how do countries safeguard their future food production? Countries such as India, for example, currently use over 80% of the available water supply to irrigate crops and most farmers still use inefficient flood irrigation methods fed by open water channels. Even in parts of Europe there are concerns about the water consumed by agriculture and in particular how efficiently this valuable resource is used in irrigating crops.
This concern prompted a group of companies including Acquedotto Pugliese, ANBI, Borealis, Federutility, Irritec & Siplast, Nestlè, Ritmo and SAB to sponsor a project by the Althesys Strategic Consultants house in Milan to evaluate the effects of a water saving strategy in Italian agriculture through a cost benefit analysis.
The project was started in the middle of 2010 under the direction of Alessandro Marangoni, Professor at the Bocconi University in Milan, and the findings were presented at a conference held in Rome, Italy, in February 2011. The conference brought together high-ranking stakeholders triggering important discussions and resulting in a commitment to cooperate on an action plan to work towards the study’s recommendations.