Water for food security

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by Jeremy Bird
Director General
International Water Management Institute (IWMI)
at the
SLCARP Symposium, Colombo, August 2014

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Water for food security

  1. 1. Water for Food Security SLCARP Symposium, Colombo, August 2014 Photo by Hamish John Appleby / IWMI
  2. 2. IWMI’s Vision: A water-secure world IWMI’s Mission: To provide evidence-based solutions to sustainably manage water and land resources for food security, people’s livelihoods and the environment IWMI’s core competencies: • Applied research at field and basin scale • Modelling of bio-physical processes • Socio-economic assessment • Policy and institutional analysis • Capacity development
  3. 3. A solution orientated research agenda: IWMI’s expertise supports 6 key challenge areas Intensify agricultural productivity sustainably Manage risk and increase resilience Benefit from functioning ecosystems services Enhance efficient resource use and re-use Promote gender and social equity Maximize shared benefits across sectors and borders
  4. 4. IWMI Offices worldwide
  5. 5. Global Risks Report 2014, World Economic Forum Uniting agriculture and nature for poverty reduction ‘Water crisis’ is the third highest global risk ..extreme weather, climate change and biodiversity loss also very high
  6. 6. We know about climate change and increasing population, but changes in consumption patterns also leads to significant Uniting agriculture and nature for poverty reduction 120 100 80 60 40 20 0 10 100 1000 10000 100000 GDP per capita (2000 constant dollars per year) meat consumption (kg/cap/yr) Meat China India 120 100 80 60 40 20 0 India USA 10 100 1000 10000 100000 GDP per capita (2000 constant dollars per year) milk consumption (kg/cap/yr) Milk China USA increase in water demand 1961-2000
  7. 7. Water for Food Security – more than just crops 1. How to ensure sustainable agricultural growth and productivity increases are achieved in ways that create and enhance resilience for the poor? Photo by Neil Palmer / IWMI
  8. 8. Water for People http://bit.ly/1BapyNq - People gather to get water from a huge well in a village in the western Indian state of Gujarat. A photograph by Amit Dave, Reuters
  9. 9. Water for a food-secure world www.iwmi.org Water for Health Photograph by Cherry Wolf
  10. 10. Resilience
  11. 11. …problems are more than physical scarcity 6,000 5,000 4,000 3,000 2,000 1,000 0 Water & land scarcity Slow growth of productivity Unequal sharing of benefits Unequal sharing of risks 0.80 0.70 0.60 0.50 0.40 0.30 0.20 0.10 0.00 1940 1960 1980 2000 2020 THE WALL STREET JOURNAL INDIA NEWS CTOBER 1, 2009 India's Drought Worst Since 1972
  12. 12. One example - over abstraction of groundwater e.g. in Gujarat Safe Semi-critical Critical Over exploited Saline ‘Free’ electricity encouraged groundwater overuse Over past 10 years solutions have been found built on research into technical interventions supported by policy and financial initiatives and incentives
  13. 13. Shah, Tushaar (IWMI)
  14. 14. Research shows signs of sustainable abstraction thresholds being exceeded in Jaffna… Agro-well density, Jaffna  Agro- wells increased by 37 %  Agricultural land increased by 6% (in Valikamam South, 2003 - 2007) Potential over-abstraction  Excess irrigation: up to 230 %  Excess fertilizer: 108 in N (kg/ha) (in Valikamam, 2011) (IWMI, 2011)
  15. 15. Consequences on saline intrusion… (IWMI, 2011) Suggestions:  Efficient irrigation management  Increase the groundwater recharge  Salt tolerance crops  Awareness programs  Strengthen the water management committee  etc
  16. 16. We know that:  in most cases resources are limited  pressure on agriculture from urban and industrial users will continue  the poor and marginalized suffer most in shortage situations So we need to:  enhance the productivity of water  adopt available supply and demand solutions, and research into new ones  ensure the right incentive frameworks are in place
  17. 17. e.g. Yield potential exists 3.31 3.86 4.8 5.5 13 15 10 5 0 Rainfed Minor Major Mahaweli Global Max Paddy Yields t/ha
  18. 18. Examples of water transfers and increased productivity exist Agricultural production levels maintained… …as allocation to agriculture reduced and transferred to urban use
  19. 19. High tech systems are moving from the lab to the field (courtesy Jain Irrigation)
  20. 20. …adopting efficient systems Kalpitiya Photos by Herath Manthrithilake (IWMI)
  21. 21. Wastewater reuse – can also be a safe and valuable resource (after Drechsel) Can we develop effective business models that promote safe recycling and reuse?
  22. 22. Resource recovery and reuse - Source: Drechsel Benefits: Energy reduction in: Water treatment, chemical fertilizer production and transport Environmental benefits: Re-use of nutrients, reduced pollution of water bodies, reduced nitrogen and phosphorous demand, reduced GHG emissions
  23. 23. Water for Food Security – resilience to shocks 2. How can we plan for variable climates? Photo by Hamish John Appleby / IWMI
  24. 24. Uncertainty and Ambiguity in Future Projections – complex planning challenge Projection 1 Projection 2 De Silva, 2006 + + + + + - - - - - - - - + Projection 3 - - - - - - + + + + + + Spatial Pattern of Rainfall Projections for 2050s + + Dry Zone + + Wet Zone Intermediate Zone Dry Zone Wet Zone Intermediate Zone + + Basnayake et al. 2004 De Silva 2006 - + + + + + + + + + De Silva, 2006 Dry Zone Wet Zone Intermediate Zone - - - Punyawardane et al. 2010
  25. 25. Identifying climate change Vulnerability Hotspots – to design locally relevant adaptation measures Anuradhapura Nuwara-Eliya Ratnapura Climate Change Vulnerability Index Exposure Index Sensitivity Index Adaptive Capacity Index
  26. 26. One approach is develop tools for Disaster Relief RAPID EMERGENCY RESPONSE MAPPING http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jfr3.12045 2013
  27. 27. …another approach is to improve targeting of investment e.g. flood duration analysis, Indus Basin, Pakistan (IWMI) Amarnath, Giriraj
  28. 28. … another is to improve resilience through storage options Water Storage Continuum Source: McCartney & Smakhtin 2010
  29. 29. Underground Taming of Floods for Irrigation (UTFI) Source: Pavelic 2012
  30. 30. Managed Aquifer Recharge Ganges Aquifer Management for Ecosystems Services (GAMES)
  31. 31. Encouraging more groundwater use in under-utilized areas (after Mukharji)  Agricultural growth in West Bengal had slumped by more than half  Research identified that a major obstacle to agricultural productivity was getting access to groundwater  New policies recommended by IWMI were adopted to reduce ‘red-tape’ and improve groundwater access for smallholder farmers. Uniting agriculture and nature for poverty reduction  The policy change could benefit more than 5.6 million smallholders
  32. 32. Challenges and opportunities  Competition for water is increasing  Variability and extremes are a reality  80-90% of increased production will have to come from investments in existing land  Innovative solutions exist at various scales and across sectors – room for optimism  New technology offers new opportunities  Research has an important part to play n developing a range of viable technical, management, institutional and policy solutions
  33. 33. iwmi.org CGIAR Research Program on Water, Land and Ecosystems wle.cgiar.org

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