The 22nd March 2014 is World Water Day. This day has officially been dedicated to water since 1992, following a resolution by the UN General Assembly. At the International Cotton Conference in Bremen this year, on the day before, the 21st March, water is the central theme: Water consumption in cotton production and textile processing. Cotton needs water to grow, just like any other plant. But again and again, there is always criticism surrounding precisely this natural fibre. There is more speculation about cotton in circulation than about almost any other agricultural product. How much water, compared to other agricultural products for example, is really consumed? Also important is the entire life cycle of textiles from fibre production to their final use. What about the water consumption in the textile chain? And what happens to the finished textile at the end consumer?
Cotton is produced mainly in arid and semi-arid areas, because unlike many other plants it is able to grow there. Agricultural research has also made immense progress in recent decades in both drought tolerance and the field of irrigation technology. Ed Barnes from Cotton Inc. USA will explain these to us.
The natural fibre is grown in over 80 countries with very different agricultural methods. In some countries nowadays, irrigation is already highly technological. For example Israel, where water is a rare and precious commodity and water wastage would be very problematic. Yet in Israel, the highest cotton yields in the world are achieved. How does it work? A cotton producer reports.
The WWF is one of the largest conservation organisations in the world. Philipp Wagnitz represents the WWF as a water expert and is a critical observer of the global water situation. Peter Ton is among those cotton experts who have travelled to the most diverse regions in the world.
High-level representatives in expert discussion in the Bremen Town Hall – a discussion that you should not miss.