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Cross-basin comparisons of water use, water scarcity and their impact on livelihoods: present and future
 

Cross-basin comparisons of water use, water scarcity and their impact on livelihoods: present and future

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presented at the Basin Focal Project special session in the 13th World Water Congress, Montpelier, France

presented at the Basin Focal Project special session in the 13th World Water Congress, Montpelier, France

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    Cross-basin comparisons of water use, water scarcity and their impact on livelihoods: present and future Cross-basin comparisons of water use, water scarcity and their impact on livelihoods: present and future Presentation Transcript

    • Cross-basin comparisons of water use, water scarcity and their impact on livelihoods: present and future Larry Harrington, Simon Cook, Jacques Lemoalle, Mac Kirby, Clare Taylor and Jonathan Woolley
    • Outline • CPWF BFPs introduced • Basins described • Comparisons made: • Water use • Water productivity • Water and poverty
    • Basin Focal Projects Niger
    • Questions for BFPs in basins • To what extent is water truly scarce? • To what extent is water scarcity a cause of poverty? • Who gets access to water and who does not? • How are such decisions made? • How efficiently is water used in agriculture? • How can it be used more efficiently? • Which water-related interventions help improve food security, livelihoods, and ecosystem services? • What are the consequences (for different water users and uses at different scales) of introducing different kinds of changes?
    • BFP work packages • Water availability – Flows, balances, allocation, risks, scarcity • Agricultural water productivity – “crop per drop”, spatial variability, how to improve • Water, poverty and food security – How are water, poverty, food security and livelihoods interconnected? • Institutional analysis – What are the institutional drivers of water and food issues and solutions? • Intervention analysis – What are specific opportunities and risks for change? What are the likely catchment- and basin-level consequences of introducing change? Who wins and who loses?
    • BFP basins: size
    • BFP basins: population density
    • Basins: rainfall
    • Basins: per capita water supply
    • Basins: water uses
    • Basins that are “wet upstream” have different issues than basins that are “wet downstream” Nile Volta dry dry wet wet Devaraj de Condappa Mac Kirby
    • Water productivity • Value of products and services (crops, livestock, fisheries, ecosystem services) per unit water depleted • Water depleted is that made unavailable for reuse, e.g., through evaporation, transpiration, contamination or flow to a saline sink
    • Productivity measures • Different kinds of productivity measures: – Land productivity (yields) – Labor productivity – Water productivity • Where land is scarce, people seek higher yields • Where water is scarce, people seek higher water productivity
    • Understanding spatial variability in water productivity • It is often difficult to understand spatial variability in yields – Soil fertility, salinity, flooding, biotic stress, unsuitable timing of operations . . . – Wealth of studies on yield gaps, yield constraints • Why should it be any easier for water productivity? – Need to study “water productivity” gaps, “water productivity” constraints
    • Crop water productivity in the Volta – . . . up to 0.2 kg/m3
    • Crop water productivity in the SFB – . . . up to 0.5 kg/m3
    • Water productivity in rice – varies spatially and over time: . . . up to 0.8 kg/m3 0.800 0.800 response Laos 3 Laos 3 Water productivity, kg/m Water productivity, kg/m 0.600 0.600 WP Thailand Thailand 0.400 0.400 Cambodia Cambodia Vietnam Vietnam 0.200 0.200 crisis Vietnam Central Vietnam Central highlands 0.000 0.000 highlands 1990 1995 2000 2005 Vietnam Mekong Vietnam Mekong 1990 1995 Year 2000 2005 time River Delta River Delta Year
    • Water productivity in Karkheh [Iran] is higher when animals are included
    • Measuring and improving livestock water productivity Source: CPWF
    • Measuring and improving livestock water productivity Source: CPWF
    • Ways to increase agricultural water productivity • Maintain yields while using less water – Aerobic rice • Raise yields by using water that otherwise would be “lost” – Input use – Less evaporation, more transpiration – In-field water harvesting • Reallocate water from lower to higher value uses – Across users in a basin or catchment • Diversify farming systems – Livestock – Aquaculture – High value crops
    • Ways to increase agricultural water productivity Statement: “ Efforts to improve water productivity should focus on areas where water productivity is low” • Not necessarily . . . – Constraints ≠ opportunities – It is often easier to increase crop yields in areas where yields are already high • the same may sometimes be true for water productivity
    • Water and poverty or “water poverty? – “BFPs have found that much more is known about the state of water on the one hand, and the state of food security and poverty on the other, than is known about how they interact and influence each other.”
    • Water and poverty or “water poverty? Statement: “ . . . Poverty is due to water scarcity” • Not necessarily . . . • Counter-examples – Dry Punjab vs. wet Bangladesh – Dry Egypt vs. wet Uganda – Dry Sinaloa vs. wet Chiapas
    • Water and poverty or “water poverty? Statement: “ . . . Poverty is due to water scarcity” • Not necessarily . . . – Floods – Water-related disease – Water allocation among users
    • Factors other than water that affect rural poverty • Farm size or access to land resources • Off-farm employment and remittances from family members; • Crop selection and yields • Agroecosystem diversification including livestock • Access to markets and credit • Market and transport infrastructure and marketing margins; • Education; • Inheritance • Expenses associated with starting a new family, or with life transitions such as marriages • Accidents or disease
    • Water and poverty or “water poverty? Statement: “ Improving water productivity is the best way to get people out of poverty” • Not necessarily . . . – May be one element in an integrated strategy – Need an historical context – • The broad process of development and rural transformation • How can water-related interventions accelerate this process?
    • Water and poverty or “water poverty? • Karkheh: – Poverty reduced by rural-urban migration, national poverty reduction policies • SFB: – Poverty reduced by out-migration of smallholder farm families to urban areas or to work on large commercial farms • Mekong: – Poverty reduced in • Mekong delta – diversified production for markets • Northeast Thailand – off-farm employment – Poverty concentrated in “remote highlands” • Volta: poverty varies inversely with rainfall
    • Water availability, poverty, and rural transformation GNI vs Water Size of the circle is 50,000 proportional to the share of agriculture 40,000 in GNI GNI ($/cap PPP) 30,000 20,000 10,000 0 -500 0 500 1000 1500 2000 2500 -10,000 3 Water availability (m /cap)
    • Awkward conclusion • Emphasize water-related interventions that help accelerate – Rural transformation – Equitable, dynamic development – Employment generation – (Without harming downstream communities) • These may or may not be in water-scarce areas • These may or may not be in areas with low water productivity “You can do it; we can help”