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Christine Crawford, WWF Communications Manager said:
 
There is some good news! By making small changes to your diet - you can reduce your water footprint and help relieve some of the immense pressure on the world's water reserves. Making a few simple changes such as eating more vegetables is not only healthier for you but healthy for our planet too."
 
WWF's Livewell Plate is a good guide to a sustainable diet that's nutritionally viable and also considers the environment. It follows five basic rules: waste less food, eat less processed food, eat more plants and buy food with certified labels such as Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) and Fairtrade."
 
Jane Jackson, Education Manager with NI Water commented:
 
"NI Water is delighted to join forces with WWF and James Street South to raise awareness of the importance of water. Each person on average uses around 150 litres of water a day but it is often taken for granted and we expect it to be there when we turn on the tap. When it is not, even for only a few hours, we get a glimpse of what it would be like to live without it. "
 
 
There are 7 billion people to feed on the planet today and another 2 billion are expected to join by 2050. Most of the water we 'drink' is embedded in the food we eat: producing 1 kilo of beef for example consumes 15,000 litres of water while 1 kilo of wheat 'drinks up' 1,500 litres.
 
 
When a billion people in the world already live in chronic hunger and water resources are under pressure we cannot pretend the problem is 'elsewhere'. Coping with population growth and ensuring access to nutritious food to everyone call for a series of actions we can all help with.
 
What can you do?
 
·Join WWF's Livewell campaign and follow a healthier, sustainable diet;
·Consume less water-intensive products;
·Reduce food wastage: 30% of the food produced worldwide is never eaten and the water used to produce it is definitively lost!
·Produce more food, of better quality, with less water.
 
For advice and tips on water efficiency in the home or workplace go to www.niwater.com  and for more information on following a healthy diet for a healthy planet, please go to wwf.org.uk/livewell
 
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Notes to Editors:
 
Already agriculture uses approximately 70% of global water supplies, while the world's demand for fresh water is projected to increase by over 30% by 2030.  In developing countries 85% of freshwater withdrawals are for agriculture, mainly for irrigation. 
Lack of water is already a threat to farmers' livelihoods and contributes to political instability.
 
Global food production will have to increase yet water resources are increasingly constrained. The Green Revolution of the 1970s which doubled production of many food crops was accompanied by a trebling of water consumption - a pattern that cannot be replicated in future drives to increase food production.  
 
Patterns of international trade and consumption also influence the use and availability of water. Water is used to produce goods (agricultural and non agricultural) which are traded internationally. This has been termed 'virtual water'.   Developed countries, including the UK, import many products with a high 'virtual water' content or water footprint, often produced in water-scarce developing countries.  Agriculture cannot therefore be seen purely as a localised issue; patterns of global trade and consumption are connected with the impacts of agriculture on ecosystems and poorer populations. The UK's own food security partly depends on better water management in developing countries from which we source food imports.
 
At the same time climate change is exacerbating pressure on water resources by changing patterns of rainfall. Poor communities are frequently those left most exposed to the effects of climate change through increasing water problems - water scarcity, floods and droughts.
 "

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