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Water and food security: integrating perspectives from geophysics and social sciences
Convener: Stefania Tamea  | Co-Convener: Marta Antonelli 
 / Thu, 01 May, 13:30–17:00
 / Attendance Thu, 01 May, 17:30–19:00

Both water security and food security are critical for societal and economic development. The availability of water resources for agriculture determines local food production and influences both local consumption and international trade of agricultural goods determining the equilibrium between food demand and production at the global scale. In turn, food demand and water requirements for food supply chains have a strong impact on water ecosystems and on global water security. Aspects related to the hydrological cycle, agricultural techniques, environmental issues, food value chains, trade networks and socio-economic factors are all involved in the definition of such equilibrium, which is threatened by climate change, population growth, changing dietary needs, and local and global crises (such as droughts, disasters or conflicts). In this context, the present session seeks to explore the inextricable link between water resources and food security in both its geophysical and socio-economic dimensions. The concepts of virtual water and water footprint will be used to investigate the water-food nexus but different indicators can also be considered, while quantitative analyses and advanced modeling tools are welcome. More specifically the session aims at:
- quantifying and discussing the impact of agricultural production on local and global water resources;
- highlighting the interactions between the water and food sectors and the role of the different actors involved in food supply chains;
- analyzing virtual water balances in different regions of the world and investigating structures and controls of the virtual water network;
- discussing the political economy implications of virtual water transfer across the globe;
- sharing current studies related to economical and geopolitical aspects of the water-food nexus;
- proposing analyses and models in support of water and food polices, institutions and management.

All these areas will be explored with the ultimate goal of gaining a full picture of the problems and challenges related to water and food that societies are experiencing or will experience in the future.