The United Nations has defined water security as: "The capacity of a population to safeguard sustainable access to adequate quantities of acceptable quality water for sustaining livelihoods, human well-being, and socio-economic development; for ensuring protection against water-borne pollution and water-related disasters; and for preserving ecosystems in a climate of peace and political stability."

More than 70% of the total fresh water withdrawal is used for agricultural purposes (production of food and fibre: cereals, fruits, meat, cotton, etc.). Increasing water demands for domestic, industrial and agriculture use threatens the availability of fresh water. To feed the growing human population, which is estimated to reach 8 billion by the year 2025, our food production will have to be doubled. Currently, agriculture is affected by destabilised and changing climatic circumstances such as: extreme droughts, inefficient water use e.g. irrigation, (fertile) land used for urban development, deforestation and continued extraction of (top)soil leading to degraded lands, salinisation of soils in delta areas, acidification of soils, lack of new generation farmers as they move to cities, poor logistics between farming infrastructure and food processing industry.

The challenge of today is to increase crop productivity and improve agribusiness in a more sustainable way in order to achieve food security. Healthy soil and availability of fresh water are vital aspects towards this aim. Furthermore, it is expected that 90% of the increase in food production will have to come from existing cultivated land and an approximate 10% from new agricultural areas. An increase in water efficiency and water productivity in irrigated agriculture is therefore one of the most important challenges we are facing. Introduction of innovative and advanced technology and more efficient management are vital parts of upgrading rural water management systems and increasing efficiency and production. An example is the development of saline agriculture, which can be one of the solutions for delta areas in the world which are now exposed to salt water intrusion.

We are increasingly active in the field of Integrated Drought Management, an undervalued specialization within Integrated Water Resources Management. By working closely with our clients we deliver tailor made solutions appropriate to the needs of the client. Our solutions are related to:
  • Water availability and allocation
  • (Inter-basin) relocation to deliver enough drinking water
  • Water for industry
  • Water for food by providing irrigation or creating intake and outlet structures
  • Water for hydropower
  • Subsurface storage of fresh water
  • Ground- and surface water resources analysis