Landing : Athabascau University

Unit 2.2: Biogeochemical Processes Central to Food and Water Insecurity

The environmental issue I chose in unit one was food and water insecurity. These issues are interconnected and are part of a complex system as they are impacted by numerous interrelated factors such as geographical location, climate conditions, socio-economic status, political stability, etc. I believe that the biogeochemical cycles central to this issue are water and nitrogen cycles. Khattar et al. (2023) discussed the importance of the water cycle, as access to clean and drinkable water is fundamental to agriculture and health. Climate change can disrupt this cycle, affecting water quality and availability. The nitrogen cycle is also essential for soil fertility and crop growth. However, human activities such as agricultural and industrial processes have altered this cycle.

Adaptations to address food and water insecurity include technological advancements in agriculture and water treatment technologies (Katz-Rosene & Paterson, 2018). However, these adaptations are often insufficient as consideration of factors such as soil health, economic conditions, and climate are required (Khattar et al., 2023). Disruptions to these cycles include over-extraction of groundwater, contamination of water sources due to industrial and agricultural activities, disruptions to agriculture due to climate and urban planning, etc. (Katz-Rosene & Paterson, 2018). These disruptions worsen food and water insecurity, especially in areas where resources are scarce, and people are dependent on their local ecosystems for survival.

Continuous exploration of these complex processes that are influenced by environmental, social, economic, and political factors can potentially lead to the development of interventions that address root causes and ensure equitable food and water security.



Katz-Rosene, R., & Paterson, M. (2018). Thinking ecologically about the global political economy. Routledge.

Khattar, R., Mansour, F., Abou Najm, M., Al-Hindi, M., Yassine, A., Chamas, Z., & Geisseler, D. (2023). Incorporating nitrogen in the water-energy-food nexus: An optimization approach. Cleaner and Circular Bioeconomy, 4, 100036.