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SIWI World Water Week

India’s cotton cultivation is the most water-intensive in the world. Comparatively, more than 100 million people in the country do not have access to clean, safe water supplies. The water consumed to grow India’s cotton exports in 2013 alone would have been enough to supply 85% of the entire country’s population with 100 liters of water every day for a year. Cotton cultivation practices, which rely heavily on pesticide and fertilizer use, compound the intensities of water usage. The societal role of women is also at stake because female cotton farmers are predominant in India, and they are extremely vulnerable to climate change impacts.

This is the second year the Institute for Sustainable Communities participated in SIWI World Water Week. In August 2021, an international panel of experts we hosted discussed the importance of sustainable cotton cultivation to the textile industry’s growth. Focusing on cotton growing communities in India, they analyzed climate change impacts and shared actionable approaches to advance water and climate resilience.