A) Be a partner in a global Mega Program on finding solutions to water scarcity
and land degradation
The Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), a consortium of 15 international agricultural research
centers, is aligning its global research under seven consortium research programs on poverty reduction, food security and
IWMI will be leading one of those programs, Water, Land and Ecosystems. This global research initiative addresses three key
i) water scarcity,
ii) land degradation, and
iii) loss of ecosystem services and biodiversity.
Be a partner and help guide research to solve real problems.
The program, Water, Land and Ecosystems, focuses on geographically defined 'best bet' solutions that will reach 200 million
people over 20 years. The research and solutions will include:
How can we improve soil fertility and land
and water management to unlock the potential of rainfed agriculture while reversing trends of ecosystem degradation?
What must we do to revitalize irrigation in Asia and
How can we enhance food security by
recovering nutrient and other resources from solid and liquid
How do we make groundwater use sustainable?
What changes in land and water management are
needed to support pastoral livelihoods?
How do we manage land and water resources in major
agricultural river basins in ways that meet the needs of people
How do we improve ecosystem resilience and
services to support ecosystem resilience and provide farmers
and pastoralists with a production system that has increased
adaptability to environmental change?
How can we use soil, water and ecosystem
information systems to generate information for evidence-based
policy recommendations and to support the implementation,
out-scaling, control and evaluation of agricultural water
A) Targeted efforts to accelerate the uptake of agricultural water management solutions
The results of years of scientific research are being collated, and key messages and solutions are being drawn from it.
Strategies will then be developed to accelerate the uptake of these science-backed results and recommendations.
This will involve influencing and assisting policymakers through to helping achieve better on-farm land and water
management. Relationship building, capacity building, knowledge sharing events and information products are just some of
the tools and activities that will be used to achieve this.
The first program is being conducted in India to accelerate the uptake of agricultural water management policies and
technologies. This uptake initiative will be expanded to other areas of Asia and also Africa.
B) Revitalize irrigation in Asia through supporting a knowledge hub on irrigation
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has asked IWMI to work with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) to build network links and provide channels to make it easier for industry and research and development organizations to share information on irrigation water management. This initiative is currently being conceptualized and
IWMI has built a strong reputation for scientific credibility internationally and among a wide variety of national and local governments, universities and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). We would like to capitalize on this to communicate messages about sustainable water management on a sound and credible scientific basis. We are looking for the right partners
to help create global communication campaigns.
Where is water placed on the global agenda?
We know that water is viewed as an important resource that needs to be managed. Governments, the general public, NGOs, the media and other groups all recognize that they have a role to play in managing water.
However, has water reached the level needed to get the action needed?
Current events like extreme weather conditions including floods, and before this, extended droughts have brought more
attention to the need to manage water resources. Will this attention be short lived until the next media-worthy event takes
Rising populations and the need to grow more food with less land and water, is a problem that has not yet been solved. It is also a problem that has not made it to the priority list of issues in the same way as, for example, climate change. It has been predicted that the next war will be over water resources.
The need and opportunity
We believe that there is a need and a great opportunity to elevate water-related issues onto the global agenda and to the general public worldwide.
A suggested approach
Review: where water is currently 'positioned' on key agendas; and perceptions of governments and selected public groups.
Determine the key messages and set targets for the awareness and understanding that needs to change as well as global
agendas that need to be influenced.
Develop a new and creative campaign to achieve this. This could be inspired by the 'Al Gore campaign on climate change' - looking for approaches that are creative, personal and backed up by the science.
Scientific research can be undertaken to help companies manage land and water resources sustainably
IWMI suggests a three-step approach to achieve this:
1) Determine the impact on existing resources and society
It is not enough to just measure your water footprint - you need to understand what this means locally to the economic,
environmental and social environment.
The only way to know the impact of your business operations on land, water and livelihoods is to monitor and evaluate this.
IWMI can help you identify appropriate performance indicators, gather and analyze baseline data, and measure the
quantitative and qualitative impacts of your operations.
IWMI has many years' experience and a wide variety of tools not only for this analysis but also to help manage water better,
including socioeconomic analyses, full cost-benefit analysis, institutional analysis, water productivity analysis, environmental
impact analysis, hydrological models, and geographic and remote sensing information systems.
2) Develop solutions for more sustainable practices
IWMI not only has the tools and technologies to develop solutions but also the experience and contacts with government
and local organizations, capacity building and processes for effective participatory management.
IWMI also has international experience in integrating gender into a program and ensuring equity. Understanding the gender
aspects of agricultural production means that you can harness the knowledge and skills of women and build incentives for
women's participation by integrating women's interests into the design and operation of water schemes.
IWMI can also help to develop solutions given the uncertainties of water supplies of surface water and groundwater under
conditions of climate change. Rising global temperatures will have an enormous impact on the distribution and availability of
water. Modeling can help reduce the uncertainty of those impacts and help your company identify flexible water storage
options to ensure your business-and the community you work in-have reliable supplies of clean water.
3) Leverage the work of companies for the greater good of the environment and society
IWMI can assist with the implementation and scaling-up of these solutions amongst society. This can be done through
working with farmers, extension networks, development agencies and policymakers.
This can increase productivity gains, increase the positive impacts on people's livelihoods, improve equity in the societies
and have less environmental damage.
IWMI is an independent international
not-for-profit organization with a
mandate to undertake scientific research to improve the management of
land and water resources for food,
livelihoods and the environment with
particular emphasis on the poor.
For 25 years, IWMI has been bringing
together multidisciplinary teams of
physical and social scientists and
policymakers to improve water use and
IWMI's contributions to a partnership include:
A leader in water management in agriculture
Capacity to bring together hard science, socioeconomics and policy disciplines
An extensive network of partnerships on-the-ground and globally
Access to data, models and tools
A global network of research specialists
Good relationships with national government agencies