The policies designed on the basis of estimated water footprints might actually move society further away from desirable outcomes says Dennis Wichelns, Global Water Forum in this article.

The global demand for water in agriculture will increase over time with increasing population, rising incomes, and changes in dietary preferences. Increasing demands for water by industrial and urban users, and water for the environment will intensify competition. At the same time, water scarcity is increasing in several important agricultural areas.

The authors of the recently completed Comprehensive Assessment of Water Management in Agriculture (CA) concluded that there are sufficient water resources to produce food for a growing population but that trends in consumption, production and environmental patterns, if continued, will lead to water crises in many parts of the world.