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Agriculture and Groundwater Feeding Billions from the Ground Up


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Presentations from the Global Forum for Food and Agriculture: Agriculture and water - Key to feeding the world, January 20, 2017, Berlin, Germany.

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Agriculture and Groundwater Feeding Billions from the Ground Up

  1. 1. Agriculture and Groundwater Feeding Billions from the Ground Up January 20 2017
  2. 2. Overview of Session 10.00-10.05: Introduction: Joachim Von Braun, Director, ZEF, Bonn, Germany 10.05-10.15: Global status of groundwater use (in agriculture) and its impact on freshwater systems–Petra Doell, Goethe Universität Frankfurt 10.15-10.25: Groundwater in Global Food Security – Current Knowledge and Outlook–Karen Villholth, IWMI, Pretoria, South Africa. 10.25-10.35: Tackling the challenges of agricultural groundwater use in OECD Countries-Guillaume Gruere, OECD, Paris, France. 10.35-10.45: Agricultural groundwater use in China: challenges, solutions and outlook - Jinxia Wang, CCAP & Peking University, Beijing, China. 10.45-10.55: Groundwater use in India and SSA: opportunities, challenges, solutions and outlook - Claudia Ringler, IFPRI, Washington DC. 10.55-12.00: Chair moderated Q&A with panel and audience and conclusions
  4. 4. Conceptualization of the irrigation-groundwater nexus WA: water abstraction CU: consumptive use R: return flow NA: net abstraction
  5. 5. The global water resources and use model WaterGAP (developed since 1996 at University of Kassel and Goethe University Frankfurt) 0.5° grid cell
  6. 6. Global human water use (no distinction gw/sw) WaterGAP 2.2b
  7. 7. Global water use 2003-2009 (WaterGAP 2.2b) Total Abstractions (km³/yr) GW Fraction (%) Consumptive use (km³/yr) GW Fraction (%) Irrigation (70% of optimum in gw depletion areas) 2492 24 1149 37 Livestock 30 0 30 0 Domestic 362 36 60 37 Manufacturing 289 27 62 26 Thermal power 615 0 17 0 Total 3788 22 1317 35 NAs = 1479 km3/yr, NAg = -162 km3/yr
  8. 8. Irrigation water abstractions from groundwater 2003-2009, in mm/yr Irrigation water abstractions from gw in % of total irrigation water abstractions Irrigation water abstractions from gw in % of total gw abstractions
  9. 9. Net water abstractions 2003-2009 (mm/yr) from groundwater from surface water bodies WaterGAP 2.2b
  10. 10. Indicators of groundwater-related water stress: Groundwater depletion 2001-2010 [mm/yr] (climate variability impact subtracted)
  11. 11. Date Slide no. Indicators of groundwater-related water stress: Decrease of gw discharge to surface water as compared to natural cond. 2001-2010 [%] (D – Dnat)/Dnat
  12. 12. 2. GROUNDWATER IN GLOBAL FOOD SECURITY – CURRENT KNOWLEDGE AND OUTLOOK Karen G. Villholth IWMI, International Water Management Institute Principal Researcher & Sub-Theme Leader, South Africa GRIPP Coordinator k.
  13. 13. Why is ‘groundwater for food security‘ of increasing concern in the global food policy debate? →Groundwater contributes 44% of global food production →Significant components depend on unreplenishable resources and unsustainable use (approx. 7% of irrigated food) →Its use for food production causes havoc for other uses, the environment and CC adaptation in many arid and semi-arid regions →Future food security and sustainable groundwater use depend on improving current scenarios →Inherent resource characteristics and current policy incentives => depletion
  14. 14. Baseline situation 0 Availability and accessibility of adequate quality groundwater greatly exceeds small dispersed demand Registration of wells required, together with maps of occurrence of usable resources 1 Growth of aquifer pumping, but only few local conflicts between neighboring abstractors Simple management tools (e.g. appropriate well-spacing according to aquifer properties) Significant stress 2 Abstraction expanding rapidly with impacts on natural regime and strong dependence of stakeholders on resource Regulatory framework needed, based on comprehensive assessment Unsustainable development 3 Excessive abstraction with irreversible aquifer deterioration and stakeholder conflicts Regulatory framework with demand management and/or artificial recharge urgently needed Sustainable development 4 High-level of abstraction, but sound balance between stakeholder interests and ecosystem needs Integrated management with high-level of user self-regulation, aquifer modeling and monitoring Time Totalabstraction Numberofwells Sustainable level of resource development with acceptable impacts under present conditions India, China, Mexico SSA USA? ??Commongroundwatertrajectory Incipient stress
  15. 15. 100% 43.5% 13.0% 14.0-16.9% 6.1-7.4% 1.8-2.2% Contribution of groundwater to global food production + From GW abstraction From GW depletion Food produced by various water sources Villholth et al.(2017)
  16. 16. 34% 14% 39% Cereal 78% % of global sugar production from GWD Hotspots for groundwater depletion in production of major crops Sugar % of global cereal production from GWD
  17. 17. Outlook → Groundwater needs to figure in conjunctive mater management → Groundwater integral to the Water-Energy-Food Nexus → Groundwater key in climate change adapatation → Groundwater quality as the joker → Needed: → Integrated foresight assesssments (food, energy, trade, virtual water transfer) → Explicit international policy debate on groundwater and food security
  18. 18. GRIPP mission Sustainable groundwater management for livelihoods, food security, climate resilience and economic growth
  19. 19. GRIPP Collaborating Partners
  21. 21. → International organisation, established in 1961, comprising of 35 member countries (as of 2016) → Compares and analyses data, economic and policies to foster international policy discussion on a wide range of issues The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Founding member states Additional member states
  22. 22. Source: OECD (2015) and Margat and van der Gun (2013). Groundwater is an important resource for irrigated agriculture • Groundwater is a key asset for agriculture in semi-arid regions in OECD countries. • OECD agricultural groundwater use: 123.5 km3 over 23 mha -33% of total irrigated land (2010) 0 0 0 1 1 2 2 2 3 3 4 7 8 21 68 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 Denmark Israel New Zealand Chile France Portugal 5 Korea Australia Japan Greece Spain Italy Turkey Mexico United States 89% 56% 54% 94% 86% 0 50 100 150 200 250 300 India OECD China Pakistan Bangladesh Other Agriculture Km3/yr Note: OECD total does not include Latvia (which joined in 2016). Estimated groundwater use (2010) Groundwater irrigation volume by OECD country (2010) Km3/yr Source: OECD (2015)
  23. 23. Groundwater is increasingly used in top OECD irrigating countries Trends in use for top 10 OECD groundwater irrigators (1990-2010) US  Greece  Mexico  Japan  Turkey  Australia  Italy ? Korea  Spain  Portugal ? Note: 1991-2013 for Spain.Note: 1991 data is used instead of 1990 for Spain. Source: OECD (2015) Trends in agricultural groundwater use (km3/yr)
  24. 24. Intensive groundwater pumping can lead to: → Long term depletion of aquifers (ex. Mexico, S. Ogallala Aquifer in US) → Significant negative environmental externalities, including: → Stream depletion (e.g., Spain) → Salinity and infiltration of polluted water (e.g., Italy) → Aquifer compaction and land subsidence (e.g., California) Intensive groundwater use leads to major challenges Dr J. Poland’s picture of land subsidence in Mendota, San Joaquin Valley, California, USA, 1925-77. Source: OECD (2015) Externalities reported in 20 OECD surveyed regions
  25. 25. A multiplicity of policy instruments to respond to these challenges Instruments Advantages/ drawbacks Conditions for success Regulatory Entitlements (rights, permits), quotas, zoning (+) Control use (-) Costs and allocation Design, expertise, flexibility Economic Taxes, subsidies, markets, transfers, retirements (+) Cost-effective & flexible, (-) Acceptance (tax), results, costs (subsidies) Expertise, transaction costs Collective action Voluntary programs (+) Local adapted and lower costs (-) Adoption issues Supported by regulations Instruments Advantages/ drawbacks Conditions for success Alternative supplies Rainwater harvesting, reservoirs, desalination (+) Relieve water constraints (-) Costs, results, damages Long term investment Storage Infiltration, aquifer storage and recovery, banking (+) Relieve constraints (-) Uncertain results Expertise and financing DEMANDSIDESUPPLYSIDE Reduce use Add or store water Source: OECD (2015)
  26. 26. What should governments do? A three tier policy framework ALL GROUNDWATER IRRIGATION SYSTEMS 6 general conditions: Robust information system Favour demand-side instruments Use groundwater conjunctively Enforce existing regulations first Favour use of direct approaches Remove perverse incentives REGIONS WITH INTENSIVE GROUNDWATER USE A Tripod Approach 2. Economic instruments 3. Collective management 1. Entitlement systems and regulations REGIONS WITH HIGH STRESS A) Agronomic tools B) Supply-side instruments Source: OECD (2015)
  27. 27. With climate change, the stakes are rising: actions should be taken now to mitigate future problems A promising reform in California → The state adopted the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act of 2014 → Defines groundwater basins and management agencies → Set long term plans towards sustainability- absence of “undesirable outcomes” → The State can intervene in case of non compliance Date Slide no. 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 All countries Top 10 GW using countries % 6 general conditions Tripod approach Additional options Source: Cooley et al. (2016); OECD (2015) Many surveyed OECD countries do not apply the proposed policies
  28. 28. 4. AGRICULTURAL GROUNDWATER USE IN CHINA: CHALLENGES, SOLUTIONS AND OUTLOOK Prof. Jinxia Wang Chinese Center for Agricultural Policy School of Advanced Agricultural Sciences Peking University
  29. 29. 271 5,191 2,100 6,981 0 1000 2000 3000 4000 5000 6000 7000 8000 North China South China China Average World Average Comparison of per capita water availabilityUnit: cubic meter Water is short in China, particularly in the northern region: per capita water availability of China is about 35% of the world average and this number is 4% for north region
  30. 30. In the past 50 years (1961-2011), runoff in 60% of river basins in China declined Unit: %
  31. 31. Expansion of groundwater irrigation in Northern China Share of groundwater irrigated area (%) Wang et al., IJWRD, 2009 The share of groundwater irrigation reached 58% (Jiangxi, Guangdong and Yunnan Provinces); Groundwater extraction in China increased from less than 10 km3 in 1950 to over 112 km3 in 2014 , increasing by more than 11 times.
  32. 32. Groundwater overdraft in China →Since the late 1990s, groundwater overdraft has become one of China’s most serious natural resource problems →Presently, there are 400 regions whose groundwater overdraft exceeds their sustainable capacity, and the total area of these regions is 11% of plain areas in China →In the Hai river basin, 91% of the plain areas belong to overdraft regions →Over-drafting groundwater has caused declines in groundwater tables, land subsidence, the intrusion of seawater into fresh water aquifers, and desertification
  33. 33. Change in Average Water Level 1995-2004 2004-2016 Increased : 16% 25% →No Change: 18% 52% 3% 37% →Decreased < 0.25 m/year : 17% 9% →Decreasing 0.25 to 1.5 m/year : 40% 25% →Decreasing > 1.5 m/year : 8% 48% 38% 63% 52% Groundwater tables are falling, with variations across time and space in Northern China (share of villages) Based on large field survey in 400 villages in 6 provinces in Northern China (Hebei, Henan, Shanxi, Shaanxi, Liaoning and Inner Mongolia provinces, 2004 and 2016
  34. 34. Government policies on managing groundwater 2004 2016 →Wells drilled by permit only →Regulation on pump spacing →Water extraction fee →Moving towards pricing policies Less than 5% of villages 22% Less than 7% of villages 20% Zero Zero Not very fast Not very fast Based on large field survey in 400 villages in 6 provinces in Northern China (Hebei, Henan, Shanxi, Shaanxi, Liaoning and Inner Mongolia provinces, 2004 and 2016
  35. 35. “Increase Price and Provide Subsidy” Pilot Reform in Hebei Province in Northern China Farmers A: Water fee before reform B: Added water fee due to reform (About 50% of A) Paid water fee after reform Water suppliers Water managers (keep B in the bank) C: Subsidy from government (about 30% of B) Return to farmers according to their land areas In the pilot reform areas, farmers use GW and they pay irrigation fee based on their use of electricity for pumping Wang et al. (2016)
  36. 36. Impacts of Price Reform Projects on Groundwater Use: Wheat Log of wheat groundwater use (m3/mu) (1) (2) (3) If really participated in the project (1=Yes; 0=No) -0.319 (2.12)** -0.335 (2.22)** If nominally participated in the project (1=yes; 0=No) -0.236 (1.25) Change in irrigation water price (yuan/unit of electricity) -1.377 (2.56)** The pilot site has been set up in 2005, but its experience still has not been extended to other regions
  37. 37. Farmers’ response (I): digging tubewells million Wang et al. (2005)
  38. 38. Farmers’ response (II): Privatization of tubewells Share of private tubewells (%) 34 60 78 81 7
  39. 39. Impact of tubewell privatization on agricultural production, farmer incomes and groundwater tables Share of sown areas Crop yield Per capita income GW Table Wheat Maize Cotton Other cash crops Wheat Maize Private tubewell (%) Coe. -3.0 2.8 0.10 0.06 182 -7.1 6.8 0.02 t value 2.23** 1.83* 4.27** 2.39** 1.05 0.03 2.98*** 7.19*** Dependent variables - Improve the adjustment of cropping structure, increase farmers’ income but accelerate the decline of GW table - Policy makers need to consider a set of new complementary policies that can restrict groundwater use and also provide incentive to farmers for sustainable water use
  40. 40. Future Trends: more pressure / potentially continuing problems →More stress on groundwater resource: ― increasing demand from urbanization / industrialization ― in some deep aquifers, water levels have dropped near the bottom of the aquifer. →More urbanization / industrialization increases water pollution. →In areas that have rising salinity, freshwater stock is endangered since it is an irreversible process.
  41. 41. Deterioration of groundwater quality →Based on monitoring data for 778 tubewells in 2006, groundwater in 61% was polluted and not suitable for drinking →In 2015, the number of monitored tubewells expanded to 2,013, and the share of tubewells whose groundwater was polluted was even higher, reaching 80% →This indicates that controlling groundwater has not attracted enough attention from the government, and the pollution status continuously deteriorates.
  42. 42. Dealing with growing water scarcity: Implementation of Water demand management strategy: “Three red line” policy →Control total water use →Increase water use efficiency →Control water pollution How to implement in rural areas? Control withdrawal or consumption? How to realize real water saving?
  44. 44. Commongroundwatertrajectory REGULATION– Role of State PROMOTION SSA India, Pakistan
  45. 45. Where countries will be on the curve in SSA and South Asia in 10-15 years will depend on many factors: Solar pumps are a key among these India (courtesy: IWMI) Africa (courtesy: IWMI)
  46. 46. Groundwater Irrigation in Africa: Actual and Potential: 45-105 m ha (depending on share for env uses) (a) Actual area irrigated with GW in 2005 expressed in ha. per cell adapted from Siebert et al. (2010) and (b) GW irrigation potential with 50% for env uses for 2000 expressed as share of area irrigated with GW in 2005 (Source: Altchenko and Villholth, 2015)
  47. 47. The role of groundwater for rolling out smallholder irrigation technologies in SSA: Example: Motor pumps: 8 million ha Potential w/GW (million ha) Potential w/o GW (million ha) Potential reduction Central Africa 6.2 5.9 3.5% Eastern and Indian Ocean countries 7.4 5.3 28.8% Gulf of Guinea 9.5 5.7 40.0% Southern Africa 4.1 3.9 6.4% Sudano– Sahelian region 2.4 1.1 53.6% All Sub-Saharan Africa 29.6 21.9 26.1% Basins in SSA with reduced irrigation development potential if GW is not available Source: Xie et al. (2014). Of note: Conservative estimates as renewable groundwater calculated as recharge from irrigated crop fields; food demand and development costs considered.
  48. 48. Courtesy: IWMI Flickr
  49. 49. →Around half of all irrigation through groundwater sources →Most of the western regions (both arid and semi arid), and pockets in AP and Karnataka have been classified as overexploited zones. →High rates of groundwater exploitation has increased the share of ‘unsafe’ districts from 9% to 30% in a span of 9 years (1995-2004) (Vijay Shankar and Kulkarni, 2011).
  50. 50. Groundwater pumping in India • Solar irrigation pump numbers in India growing faster than expected: <5000 during 1985-2012; 45,000 during 2012-2015; 4-5 million during 2016- 2022? • 21 m wells use up 28% of India’s grid power, contribute 6% of India’s GHG emissions, with an annual power subsidy of $12.5 billion • Solar pumps are heavily subsidized with national and state subsidies ranging from 40-80% of the total cost of the solar system  accelerating democratization of energy access but also groundwater depletion • Currently 8 GW total solar installed (all types of installations), Gov of India plans to increase this to 100 GW by 2022
  51. 51. The dilemma ’’Borlu vachhi maa baavulalo neeru laagesaayi “ (the advent of bore wells drained our wells of water) -Farmer from Kuntlapalle, NP Kunta, Anantapur. “Maa manasulo thakkuva neeti pantalu pettalani unna, memu ekkuva neeti pantalane pedataamu” (Even if our heart says low-water crops, our mind gravitates towards water-intensive ones) -Farmer from Kethireddyvaripalle, NP Kunta, Anantapur.
  52. 52. Experimental Games: Learning from Communities strengthening-collective-action
  53. 53. CGIAR WLE and CCAFS work on Solar Power as a Remunerative Crop (SPaRC) and Solar Pump Irrigator’s Cooperative Enterprises (SPICE) Source: And are growing very rapidly in India as well Solar farms are increasingly common in Germany; Example from Bavaria
  54. 54. References (1/3) → Altchenko, Y. and K.G. Villholth (2015), Mapping irrigation potential from renewable groundwater in Africa – a quantitative hydrological approach, Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, Vol. 19, N. 2, pp. 1055-1067. doi:10.5194/hess-19-1055-2015. → Closas, A. and K.G. Villholth (2016), “Aquifer Contracts - A Means to Solving Groundwater Over-exploitation in Morocco?”, Colombo, Sri Lanka: International Water Management Institute (IWMI). 20p. (Groundwater Solutions Initiative for Policy and Practice (GRIPP) Case Study Series 01). doi: 10.5337/2016.211. → Cooley, H., M. Cohen, R. Phuraisamban, and G. Gruere (2016), “Water risk hotspots for agriculture: The case of the southwest United States”, OECD Food, Agriculture and Fisheries Papers, No. 96, OECD Publishing, Paris. DOI: → Döll, P., Müller Schmied, H., Schuh, C., Portmann, F., and A. Eicker (2014), Global-scale assessment of groundwater depletion and related groundwater abstractions: Combining hydrological modeling with information from well observations and GRACE satellites, Water Resources Research, Vol. 50, pp. 5698–5720, doi: 10.1002/2014WR015595. → Döll, P., Hoffmann-Dobrev, H., Portmann, F.T., Siebert, S., Eicker, A., Rodell, M., Strassberg, G., and B. Scanlon (2012), Impact of water withdrawals from groundwater and surface water on continental water storage variations, J. Geodynamics , Vol. 59-60, pp. 143-156. doi:10.1016/j.jog.2011.05.001. → Döll, P. and K. Fiedler (2008), Global-scale modeling of groundwater recharge, Hydrological Earth System Sciences, Vol. 12,pp. 863-885 → Foster, S., G. Tyson, L. Konikow, E. Custodio, K. Villholth, J. van der Gun, and R. Klingbeil (2015), “Food Security and Groundwater”, International Association of Hydrogeologists, Strategic Overview Series.6 pp, → Giordano, M. and K.G. Villholth (eds.) (2007), The Agricultural Groundwater Revolution: Opportunities and Threats to Development, CABI, in association with IWMI. 419 pp. ISBN-13: 978 1 84593 172 8. → Margat, J. and J. van der Gun (2013), Groundwater around the World: A Geographic Synopsis, CRC Press, Taylor and Francis, London.
  55. 55. References (2/3) → Meinzen-Dick, R., Chaturvedi, R., Domenech, L., Ghate, R., Janssen, M.A., Rollins, N, and K. Sandeep (2014), “Games for Groundwater Governance: Field Experiments in Andhra Pradesh”, CSID Working Paper Series, CSID-2014-006, India. → OECD (2015), Drying wells, rising stakes: Towards sustainable groundwater use in agriculture, OECD Studies on Water, OECD Publishing, Paris. → Shah, T., J.J. Burke, and K.G. Villholth (2007), Groundwater: a global assessment of scale and significance, in D. Molden (Ed.), Water for Food, Water for Life. Comprehensive Assessment of Water Management in Agriculture Synthesis Report. Earthscan. ISBN: 978-1-84407-396-2. → Villholth, K.G. (2013), Groundwater irrigation for smallholders in Sub-Saharan Africa – a synthesis of current knowledge to guide sustainable outcomes, Water International, Vol. 38, N. 4, pp. 369–391, DOI: 10.1080/02508060.2013.821644 (received a Best Paper of the Year Award by IWRA in 2014). → Villholth, K.G., A. Sood, N. Liyanage, and T. Zhu (2017),The role of groundwater and depleting aquifers in global irrigated food production, Nature Communications (In revision). → Wang, J., Li, Y., Huang, J., Yan T. and T. Sun (2017), Growing Water Scarcity, Food Security and Government Responses in China, Global Food Security, 10..1016/j.gfs.2017.01.003 → Wang, J., Zhang, L. and J. Huang (2016), How could we realize a win–win strategy on irrigation price policy? Evaluation of a pilot reform project in Hebei Province, China, Journal of Hydrology, Vol. 539, pp. 379-391; doi:10.1016/j.jhydrol.2016.05.036 → Wang, J., Huang, J., Huang, Q. and S. Rozelle (2009), The Evolution of China’s Groundwater Governance: Productivity, Equity and the Environment, Quarterly Journal of Engineering Geology and Hydrogeology, Vol. 42, pp. 267–280. → Wang, J., Huang, J., Rozelle, S., Huang, Q, and L. Zhang (2009), Understanding the Water Crisis in Northern China: What Government and Farmers are Doing?, Water Resources Development, Vol. 25, N. 1,pp. 141–158.
  56. 56. References (3/3) → Wang, J., Huang, J., Rozelle, S., Huang, Q. and A. Blanke (2007), Agriculture and Groundwater Development in Northern China: Trends, Institutional Responses, and Policy Options, Water Policy, Vol. 9, N. S1, pp. 61–74. → Wang, J., Huang, J., Huang, Q. and S. Rozelle (2006), Privatization of Tubewells in North China: Determinants and Impacts on Irrigated Area, Productivity and the Water Table, Hydrogeology Journal, Vol. 14, pp. 275-285. → Wang, J., Huang, J. and S. Rozelle (2005), Evolution of Tubewell Ownership and Production in the North China Plain, Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Vol, 49, N. 2, pp. 177-195. → Xie, H., L. You, B. Wielgosz and C. Ringler (2014), Estimating the potential for expanding smallholder irrigation in Sub-Saharan Africa, Agricultural Water Management, Vol. 131, N.1, pp. 183–193.10.1016/j.agwat.2013.08.011. Additional resources on agricultural groundwater use in India : → ; → ; → ; → Additional resources on agricultural groundwater use in Sub-Saharan Africa: → →