Game changers for irrigated agriculture –
do the right incentives exist?

Jeremy Bird
International Water Management Insti...
Humanity’s greatest challenge
To feed 9 billion people in
p p
2050, we need
to produce 50-70% more
p
5 7
food and raise
nu...
…problems are more than just scarcity
0.80

6,000

0.70
5,000
0.60
4,000

0.50

Water &
land
y
scarcity

0.40
0.30
0.20
0....
What next ‐ reaching the limit of irrigated area?  

Water for a food-secure world
www.iwmi.org
…or a broader perspective – the rainfed to irrigated 
continuum

Water for a food-secure world
www.iwmi.org
Re‐thinking storage to manage climate variability – but 
institutional complexity 
institutional complexity

Water for a f...
Game changers for irrigated agriculture –
do the right incentives exist?
What if the benefits of canal
commands increase to meet
higher demand - within the
resilience of natural ecosystems?

Iden...
..some new approaches to rehabilitate and adapt
• e.g. encourage distributed
storage to improve system
flexibility and rel...
What if the potential for
p
increasing the productivity of
agriculture in Sub-Saharan Africa
can be realized?

Identify li...
Small‐scale irrigation in Africa

Back on the agenda in 
Ghana, Tanzania,  Zambia, Ethiopia, Burkina Faso and 
elsewhere

...
The Bright Spots Initiative
Comprehensive study of 286 
cases in 57 countries where 
individuals and communities 
that hav...
What if degraded lands are
brought back into production and
saline waters produce food and
g
generate income?

Out of the ...
Serial Biological Concentration…..
What if conjunctively managed surface
and ground water resources becomes a
reality?
y
Address both over-abstraction
and un...
Contrasting 
groundwater 
issues – require 
i
i
diverse responses

Water for a food-secure world
www.iwmi.org
Managed Aquifer Recharge to stabilize 
groundwater in Central Plains of Thailand
`

Falling GW level trends can be
reverse...
What if systems are in place to address
co pet g
competing uses a d identify win-win
and de t y
solutions ?

Creating the ...
Examples of water transfers exist 
Agricultural 
production levels 
maintained… 

…as allocation to 
agriculture was 
redu...
…and co‐management of competing uses 
rice – shrimp production in Viet Nam (and Bangladesh)
rice shrimp production in Viet...
What if there is a greater balance
between natural capital and the
built environment?

Bringing ecosystem services
into th...
Natural and built infrastructure… striking a
balance – increasing the total benefit stream
g
Intensively utilized basin

N...
What if waste and used water could have
a second life in agriculture and pollution
d lif i
i lt
d ll ti
reduced at same ti...
A problem, but also 
an opportunity?
pp
y
Wastewater

Piped water
Innovative RRR initiatives – to close water 
and nutrient cycles
and nutrient cycles

Wastewater  Water 
Wastewater – Wate...
Reducing risk and uncertainty
Elements of sustainable intensification 
Elements of sustainable intensification
• Maintaining downstream flows and water ...
If we combine these
approaches with reduction
of food waste we can feed
2 billion more people while
reducing agriculture’s...
Water L d
W t Land and E
d Ecosystem Vi i
t
Vision:
A world in which agriculture thrives within
vibrant ecosystems where c...
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Presentation of Mr. Jeremy Bird, DG, IWMI at the 1st World Irrigation Forum, Plenary Session I

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Game changers for irrigated agriculture – do the right incentives exist?
Presentation of Mr. Jeremy Bird, Director General, IWMI at the 1st World Irrigation Forum, Mardin, Turkey, September 2013

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Presentation of Mr. Jeremy Bird, DG, IWMI at the 1st World Irrigation Forum, Plenary Session I

  1. 1. Game changers for irrigated agriculture – do the right incentives exist? Jeremy Bird International Water Management Institute 1st World Irrigation Forum Mardin, Turkey, 29 September 2013
  2. 2. Humanity’s greatest challenge To feed 9 billion people in p p 2050, we need to produce 50-70% more p 5 7 food and raise nutrition levels… …and at the same time reverse environmental degradation g
  3. 3. …problems are more than just scarcity 0.80 6,000 0.70 5,000 0.60 4,000 0.50 Water & land y scarcity 0.40 0.30 0.20 0.10 3,000 Slow 2,000 growth in 1,000 y p productivity 0 0.00 1940 1960 1980 2000 2020 Unequal sharing of benefits Unequal sharing of risks INDIA NEWS CTOBER 1, 2009 India's Drought Worst Since 1972 Water for a food-secure world www.iwmi.org
  4. 4. What next ‐ reaching the limit of irrigated area?   Water for a food-secure world www.iwmi.org
  5. 5. …or a broader perspective – the rainfed to irrigated  continuum Water for a food-secure world www.iwmi.org
  6. 6. Re‐thinking storage to manage climate variability – but  institutional complexity  institutional complexity Water for a food-secure world www.iwmi.org
  7. 7. Game changers for irrigated agriculture – do the right incentives exist?
  8. 8. What if the benefits of canal commands increase to meet higher demand - within the resilience of natural ecosystems? Identify i Id tif incentives to influence ti t i fl behaviour at all levels
  9. 9. ..some new approaches to rehabilitate and adapt • e.g. encourage distributed storage to improve system flexibility and reliability • modernize irrigation g systems e.g. pressurized systems • incentives for fee collection and service delivery, NIMF g • recognize role of conjunctive groundwater use • …
  10. 10. What if the potential for p increasing the productivity of agriculture in Sub-Saharan Africa can be realized? Identify li Id tif policy measures and d business models
  11. 11. Small‐scale irrigation in Africa Back on the agenda in  Ghana, Tanzania,  Zambia, Ethiopia, Burkina Faso and  elsewhere Unlocking the potential for  smallholder agriculture to  smallholder agriculture to improve the lives of  smallholder farmers in 5  countries in sub‐Saharan  ti i bS h Africa and 2 states in India (Giordano et al, 2012)
  12. 12. The Bright Spots Initiative Comprehensive study of 286  cases in 57 countries where  individuals and communities  that have adopted sustainable  crop intensification systems. Bright spots influenced: 12.6 million households covering 37 million hectares increased yields by an average  i d i ld b of 79% with average carbon  sequestration of 0.35 t C ha‐1 yr‐1. Relative yield change after/with proje y a ect 11 10 Maize Sorghum/millets Pulse crops Rice Wheat Cotton 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0 0 2 4 6 8 -1 Yield before/without project (Mg ha ) 10 Pretty et al., 2006; Noble et al, 2006 Water for a food-secure world www.iwmi.org
  13. 13. What if degraded lands are brought back into production and saline waters produce food and g generate income? Out of the box thinking on technical approaches and institutional cooperation
  14. 14. Serial Biological Concentration…..
  15. 15. What if conjunctively managed surface and ground water resources becomes a reality? y Address both over-abstraction and under-utilization
  16. 16. Contrasting  groundwater  issues – require  i i diverse responses Water for a food-secure world www.iwmi.org
  17. 17. Managed Aquifer Recharge to stabilize  groundwater in Central Plains of Thailand ` Falling GW level trends can be reversed and year-round rice/sugar year round production maintained Water for a food-secure world www.iwmi.org
  18. 18. What if systems are in place to address co pet g competing uses a d identify win-win and de t y solutions ? Creating the space for intersectoral dialogue
  19. 19. Examples of water transfers exist  Agricultural  production levels  maintained…  …as allocation to  agriculture was  reduced and  transferred to  urban use
  20. 20. …and co‐management of competing uses  rice – shrimp production in Viet Nam (and Bangladesh) rice shrimp production in Viet Nam (and Bangladesh) Higher income US$2,150 /ha 8700 farmers  f adopted innovation Reduced pollution Improved locally‐ responsive zoning  together with  sluice gate  sluice gate management S Social conflicts  between brackish  (shrimp) and  freshwater (rice)  environments S Low income < US$ 1,500/ha Polluted aquatic  environment 20
  21. 21. What if there is a greater balance between natural capital and the built environment? Bringing ecosystem services into the discussion on sustainable intensification of t i bl i t ifi ti f agriculture
  22. 22. Natural and built infrastructure… striking a balance – increasing the total benefit stream g Intensively utilized basin Natural basin Hydropower Hydropower Crops Industrial Crops Industrial Regulation of water balance Regulation of water balance Recreation Recreation Erosion control Erosion control Nutrient cycling Soil formation Nutrient cycling Soil formation Climate regulation Climate regulation Multifunctional “green” basin Hydropower Provisioning services Crops Industrial Regulatory services g y Cultural services Recreation Regulation of water balance Erosion control Supporting services Nutrient cycling S il Soil formation Climate regulation
  23. 23. What if waste and used water could have a second life in agriculture and pollution d lif i i lt d ll ti reduced at same time? Closing the nutient loop
  24. 24. A problem, but also  an opportunity? pp y Wastewater Piped water
  25. 25. Innovative RRR initiatives – to close water  and nutrient cycles and nutrient cycles Wastewater  Water  Wastewater – Water (irrigation, aquaculture) Agro‐industrial waste ‐ Energy MSW, Faecal sludge  ‐ Nutrients (ag. production)
  26. 26. Reducing risk and uncertainty
  27. 27. Elements of sustainable intensification  Elements of sustainable intensification • Maintaining downstream flows and water quality • Mi i l ff i Minimal off‐site movement of pollutants f ll • Utilizing natural infrastructure for water storage, flood  prevention • Maintaining habitat for pollinators and conserving  biodiversity, forest cover and grasslands • Sequestering carbon to improve Sequestering carbon to improve soils and mitigate climate change • Maximizing energy efficiency,  minimizing water consumption,  i i ii t ti resource reuse. Photo: Tom Van Cakenberghe/IWMI
  28. 28. If we combine these approaches with reduction of food waste we can feed 2 billion more people while reducing agriculture’s footprint f t i t Photo: Tom Van Cakenberghe/IWMI
  29. 29. Water L d W t Land and E d Ecosystem Vi i t Vision: A world in which agriculture thrives within vibrant ecosystems where communities ecosystems, have higher incomes, improved food security and the ability to continuously improve their lives iwmi.org g wle.cgiar.org  wle.cgiar.org/blogs

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