Today is World Water Day, sponsored by the United Nations to highlight the important of water for people, for agriculture and for industry in general, with a special emphasis on cooperative efforts to preserve water resources. Events are planned around the globe.
Water is absolutely critical for the success of agriculture, which consumes about 75 percent of the total freshwater consumption. It takes a lot of water to grow food, and considerable research is underway to develop ways to use less water for food production – and still produce the food that’s needed for a growing world population.
Today, Monsanto is holding an interactive event for company employees to highlight the company’s commitments to water. The event includes a keynote speech by water expert Dr. Roberto Lenton, executive director of the Robert B. Daugherty Water for Food Institute at the University of Nebraska. Also speaking are:
- Michael Reuter, director of The Nature Conservancy‘s North America Fresh Water Program and Great Rivers Partnership
- Trey Cooke, executive director of Delta Wildlife
- Dr. Patricia Hagan, vice president and director of Missouri Chapter of the National Audubon Society
- Chan Mazour, manager of Monsanto’s Water Utilization Learning Center in Gothenburg, Nebraska
In 2008, Monsanto announced an initiative to reduce nutrient and sediment movement into the United States’ largest river system, the Mississippi River. Since then the company has worked closely with farmers and partners including Delta Wildlife, The Nature Conservancy and National Audubon Society to focus on water quality improvement in the Mississippi River Basin and Gulf of Mexico. This initiative has produced positive results that several of the presenters will discuss.
First declared by the United Nations in 1993, World Water Day is held annually on March 22 to draw attention to the importance of freshwater and advocating for the sustainable management of freshwater resources. Each year, World Water Day highlights a specific aspect of freshwater. In 2013, in reflection of the International Year of Water Cooperation, World Water Day is also dedicated to the theme of cooperation around water.
Monsanto has three significant partnership programs in the Mississippi River Basin.Delta Wildlife Pipe Program, The Nature Conservancy Mississippi River Watersheds Project, and the National Audubon Society Common Water, Common Ground Rain Gardens Project. Details about these programs and Monsanto’s overall commitments to water can be found at Monsanto and Water at Monsanto.com.