Reliable access to water is the difference between food security and famine for millions of smallholder farmers. The classic response thus far has been to store water in dams, tanks or ponds during times of abundance, so that it can be conserved for times of shortage.
Water storage spurs economic growth and helps alleviate poverty by making water available when and where it is needed. Today, many developing countries, even those with abundant water, have insufficient water storage capacity.
Inadequate storage leaves farmers vulnerable to the effects of climate change. This mainly affects those farmers heavily reliant on rain-fed subsistence agriculture. The lack of storage infrastructure means that farmers have limited ability to cope with droughts and floods.