Ensuring a global water supply to feed nearly 10 billion by 2050

The CEO of one of the nation’s largest cooperatives says there may not be enough water to support 10 billion people by 2050.    

Beth Ford with Land O’Lakes says demand for water will almost surpass supply, which could hurt production agriculture unless there’s advancements in drought-tolerant genetics. “We need that yield stabilizer.  We need technology overall whether it’s applied research, investment in seed, investment in crop protection – those areas that will help improve yield overtime and deal with this water shortage.

Data shows that water demand is expected to outstrip supply by 56 percent by 2030.

She tells Brownfield discussions between producers, lawmakers and other stakeholders are vital to create additional resources. “Water rights or water policy is very much state level, local level.  There is legitimacy to somebody saying since the 1920’s I’ve had this right.  What I’m trying to do is say ok, no matter what the framework is, we have to elevate the discussion to say what are we trying to achieve with the investment in water.”

Ford says the 2023 Farm Bill needs to include additional investments for research specifically dedicated to water preservation.

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