chapter  2
12 Pages

The concept of water and food security in Spain

WithE. López-Gunn, B. Willaarts, A. Dumont, I. Niemeyer & P. Martínez-Santos

ABSTRACT: Water and food security are tags used widely yet hiding very different meanings depending on the context in which they are used. This chapter looks at what these concepts mean for Spain and across scale linkages due to globalisation. Since food production and access is largely guaranteed in Spain, food security here is linked to the idea of guarantying food safety and food health. As in other European countries, there has been a substantial shift in the dietary habits of Spanish consumers with changes to the recommended Mediterranean diet, with higher meat and processed food consumption, and a drop by half in the intake of cereals, legumes, fruits and vegetables. This chapter argues that dietary shifts have increased the water footprint of an average Spanish diet by 8%, which has been possible thanks the imports of green virtual water from third countries, without compromising Spain’s water security. The chapter also reflects on the different dimensions of water security in Spain, and whether some aspects of water security (like protection from hazards or water availability) have been secured others represent important – sometimes contradictory – challenges like securing water for food or the environment. These links can be understood when framed by a global system with feedbacks between food production and consumption, impacting on agricultural production and water resources, food supply capacities, and environmental security.