In this report, the facts about past, present and future water demand in food production and food security are discussed. For the purpose of discussion, three groups of countries are identified: developing countries, industrialized countries and countries in transition. Developing countries call for special attention because demographic growth rates are high and the potential demand for food is not yet satisfied. This group of countries is considered in regional groupings, that is: sub-Saharan Africa, Near East/North Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, South Asia and East Asia. It should always be kept in mind that aggregate and average figures tend to hide as much as or more than they reveal. Water problems are always local or, at most, regional in nature, and may vary over time. Countries with large territories also have a large diversity of situations, including arid and humid regions and plains as well as mountains.

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