Water conservation encompasses the policies, strategies and activities to manage fresh water as a sustainable resource to protect the water environment and to meet current and future human demand. Population, household size and growth and affluence all affect how much water is used. Factors such as climate change will increase pressures on natural water resources especially in manufacturing and agricultural irrigation.
In his History of the World Roberts (1990:908), commenting on a world
population exceeding 5 billion persons, writes: ‘Though it had taken at least
50000 years for Homo sapiens to increase to 1000 millions (a figure reached in
1840 or so) the last 1000 million of his species took only 15 years to be added to
a total growing more and more rapidly’. More recently it is estimated that the world
population reached 6 billion in October 1999 and that the increase from 5 to 6
billion, huge army of the world’s desires, took place in a mere 12 years (Schoon
Pesticides are used to protect crops from insects, weeds and diseases both in dryland and irrigated crop production in Viet Nam. However, reliance on pesticides in crop production system has the potential to cause environmental problems due to contamination of waterways and of produce, adversely affecting the Vietnamese environment and human health.
The world’s major food items, core requirements for
human health, come from wetland ecosystems. Rice,
a staple food item for almost half the world’s popu-
lation, is grown in a wide range of environments,
mostly wetland ecosystems. Rice receives 35–45%
of the world’s irrigation water and some 24–30% of
developed freshwater resources.
Research Reports IWMI’s mission is to improve the management of land and water resources for food, livelihoods and environment. In serving this mission, IWMI concentrates on the integration of policies, technologies and management systems to achieve workable solutions to real problems—practical, relevant results in the field of irrigation and water and land resources.
For its part, Japan generally provides support for irrigation and drainage, and the readjustment of
agricultural land. Agri-environmental programs are important aspects of agricultural policy and
include measures encouraging farmers to adopt sustainable agricultural practices that reduce the
amount of fertilizer and pesticide usage as well as improve the quality of soil with composting.