HSBC: No Water, No Food? Ensuring Food Safety & Security

by China Water Risk 18 March, 2014

HSBC No Water, No Food Front Cover (small - 250 pixels)

18 March, 2014 – No Water, No Food: HSBC explores the implications of China’s quest for food safety and food security given current water scarcity and pollution issues in a newly released research report. China Water Risk was commissioned by HSBC Climate Change Centre to research and analyse the findings which form the basis of this report.

The report warns:

  • China’s agricultural output is as large as Australia’s entire economy and output of its one billion livestock animals (pigs, sheep, cattle, etc.) is more than 1.5x the Singaporean economy;
  • Almost 30% of China’s agricultural output comes from the water-scarce and polluted North China Plain;
  • Agriculture is the top user and polluter of water and the government is tightening regulations on water usage, as well as water and soil pollution due to rising fears over food safety;
  • Only 14% of China’s total land area is currently used as arable land; the country as a whole is close to water-stress levels, and soil has become polluted through the overuse of fertilisers and heavy metals from industry;
  • At the same time, food demand is increasing in China, driven by rising affluence and urbanisation

“Food safety and security are priorities but to ensure them China may have to import more food – which would affect global trade.”

HSBC No Water, No Food

Read the report here (available to HSBC institutional clients only).

China Water Risk will review agriculture “red lines”, exposure of crops to pollution & water scarcity in detail in our newsletter next month … sign up now !

HSBC WATER POLLUTION FORUM: Implications on Food Security & Energy

Thursday, March 20, 2014
Time: 12:30pm – 2:15pm
Venue: Turner Room, Level 41, HSBC Main Building

“Air and water pollution in China have grabbed the headlines and public attention. The economic effects are far and wide and the new leadership has been tackling the issue “with an iron fist”. Air pollution may be more visible (despite making things less visible), but water pollution penetrates the water we drink as well as the food we eat.

This session will look at what water shortages and water pollution mean for food security in China and the resulting effect on global trade flows. Local governments are now trying to balance the competition for water use between coal-related industries and agriculture. Sometimes what’s good for air pollution may not be good for water.”

This event is by invitation only. Please RSVP to your HSBC sales representative.

For enquiries contact  [email protected]