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Managing Food and Water Scarcity and Security

September 18, 2015 @ 8:00 am - 10:00 am

Food and water are becoming critical resources. With rising global populations (8.3 billion by 2030) and the expanding middle class, demand for food is expected to rise by 35% by 2030, while demand for water will rise by 40%. Climate change analysts predict that severe weather patterns will intensify and the impact on the scarcity of these resources will have far reaching effects on global development.

South Africa is a water-scarce country with an average rainfall of 450mm per annum which is well below the global average. The Western Cape is already experiencing significant water stress and agriculture, as a key industry sector in the province, is a major water user.  Water quality and quantity particularly impacts on fruit quality which poses a major threat to the fruit export industry. Finding innovative solutions for precision agriculture and water irrigation techniques will be vital to our sustained growth, as are appropriate reforms in water management, and investment in our water infrastructure.

Join us as we discuss this key topic with Dr Dirk Troskie, Director at the Western Cape Department of Agriculture, and Christine Colvin, WWF’s freshwater specialist.  We will also hear from SAB about their Better Barley Better Beer Programme which supports sustainable farming practices amongst South Africa’s barley farmers focusing on water reduction, improved carbon footprints, soil health and clearing of alien vegetation. Nedbank will also provide an update of their specialist agricultural unit which has invested R8,3 million into WWF-SA’s Sustainable Agriculture Programme since 2012, to help market and pilot sustainable agricultural practices on South African farms.

About the speakers

Dr Dirk Troskie is currently the Director for Business Planning and Strategy at the Western Cape Department of Agriculture. In this capacity, he is responsible for providing advice and information on the strategic direction the sector and the Department should take whilst, at the same time, evaluating the outcome and impact of interventions. Dr Troskie started his career as a farmer, but later ventured into lecturing. During his career he has presented and published numerous papers and reports on subjects ranging from macro-economic policy to farm level issues.

Christine Colvin has been leading WWF’s Freshwater Programmes for 4 years. Christine is a hydro-geologist, with a Master’s degree from University College London.  She worked in scientific research for 15 years with the CSIR and led a multi-disciplinary Hydro Science research group before moving to WWF South Africa. As a hydro-geologist Christine was vice president of the International Association of Hydro-geologists for Sub-Saharan Africa and contributed to new knowledge on groundwater dependent ecosystems. WWF South Africa’s Water Programmes, under Christine’s leadership, include Water Stewardship, Water Source Areas, the Mondi Wetlands Programme and the Water Balance Programme.



September 18, 2015
8:00 am - 10:00 am