Water in Agriculture

Both the rising global population and the effects of climate change will impact on the availability of drinking water.

The OECD estimates that globally, 70% of the freshwater withdrawn from natural resources is used in agriculture for food and fibre production. So at a time when we need to intensify agricultural production we need to do this with less water. We therefore need to harvest more food per drop of water. Water protection and water use efficiency must be an integral part of sustainable intensification.

Our activities in this area include:

  • Developing stress and drought tolerant crops
  • Developing technologies for weed management that allow conservation tillage and improve soil moisture
  • Researching products that will increase the water efficiency of plants
  • We also look to save water in our own facilities and contributed to the First Global Water Disclosure Report (2010)

Thirsty Foods

The Water Footprint Network has provided an estimate of the amount of water needed to produce some of our common foodstuffs:

Water droplet