Comprehensive Assessment of Water Management in Agriculture 

CA Info Bulletin No. 8 - 8 February 2006 - 


The CA assesses current knowledge and experience to identify the most effective investment and management decisions in water management for agriculture for reducing poverty and enhancing food and environmental security.


Apologies for Cross-Postings


News on the assessment synthesis

The Comprehensive Assessment (CA) synthesis book is taking shape. Ten CA chapters have now been through a second external review. The chapters target key questions of water management in agriculture: rain-fed agriculture, irrigation, groundwater, marginal quality water, fisheries, livestock, rice, land degradation, river basins, policies & institutions. Final drafts are expected to be completed by the end of February.

In January, two cross-cutting chapters (water productivity, ecosystems) met to finalize their second drafts, due for review early February.  The Poverty chapter writing team and the Scenarios experts also met in January, to move toward the objective of providing revised drafts for review by the end of February. If you are not yet involved in the CA and are interested in reviewing one of these final chapters or in contributing, please contact David Molden, CA Coordinator.

More information available on the CA Synthesis section of the website.


Online Discussion


In February, join the online discussion on gender mainstreaming in agriculture water management.

Gender mainstreaming is not happening in practice in the water management in agriculture. To find out more about why this is the case, have a look at the  recent survey performed in a collaborative project CA/Both-ends/Gender and Water Alliance supported by Novib.


An online discussion will address the results of this survey.  The discussion will take up questions such as: Why is it important to mainstream gender in agricultural water management? What are the real issues? What could be done? What is feasible? Who should do it? The discussion aims to bring together different points if view from the diverse stakeholders (from policy to implementation, including research). It aims to elaborate a "minimum agenda" that could be proposed at the WWF4 in Mexico. To register email the CA (subject: gender discussion)

To follow the gender Discussion




Authors met to define the CA Summary for Decision Makers, look at possible futures and revisit difficult issues in some chapters. On the 11-13 January 2006, a targeted workshop was organized involving the Coordinating Lead Authors of most of the chapters.  Participants agreed on the outline and key messages of the CA Summary for Decision Makers. The authors interacted with the scenarios team on critical uncertainties and drivers. On the 9-10 and 15-17 January, small chapter writing teams on water productivity, ecosystems and poverty also met to agree on the final chapter content. These workshops and meeting were hosted by FAO in Rome, Italy. In late January, the rainfed team met in Stockholm, hosted by SEI.

For more, email Domitille Vallee, CA secretariat


CA Authors got feedback on their chapter from FAO and IFAD experts

Three short brainstorming were organized within FAO to discuss three CA chapters: water productivity, land, and poverty. FAO experts from different disciplines and divisions participated, including from the Investment Center, Land and Water Service, Food and Nutrition, Gender and Participation, Rural Development, and Legal Divisions. These exchanges were part of the review process of the chapters. For more, email Domitille Vallee, CA secretariat.


Towards a minimum agenda for effective gender mainstreaming in water management. The 5-6 December 2005, gender experts and practitioners met in Amsterdam, Holland to: (1) examine how gender is handled in the knowledge base created by the CA (existing chapters), and (2) to review the ways guidelines are used in the field to link practice to knowledge. The CA joined with Both ENDS and the Gender and Water Alliance to find out the reasons why engendered policies and available guidelines still do not result in gender mainstreaming in practice. This short term project supported by Novib, enhance gender expert participation in the CA synthesis process. For more, contact Joke Muylwijk, GWA.

CA at conferences

Getting feedback on CA findings


On 6-8 March 2006: The CA Rice chapter is debated at IRRI in Los Banos, Philippines

IRRI will be hosting the WWF/PCARRD-organized (with FAO, PhilRice, ICRISAT) workshop International Dialogue on Rice and Water: Exploring Options for Food Security and Sustainable Environment”. It will gather 50 experts, half of which are international experts and the other half of which are from the Philippines-. This will be an ideal opportunity to critically review the findings of the CA chapter on Rice. Contact: Bas Bouman, IRRI.


On 20 March 2006 at 14.15, participate in the CA session at the WWF4, Mexico (16-22 March 2006)

The CA is organizing a session entitled “Assessing livelihood and environmental synergies and trade-offs for water management in agriculture” at the Fourth World water forum in Mexico (Session FT4.37). The CA session will challenge current ways of thinking about management of water in agriculture. We welcome you to join us there. Contact: Domitille Vallee, CA secretariat.


WWF4: CA messages to be discussed in at least 10 other different sessions thanks to authors and partners.


Other Interesting opportunities for the CA in coming months are:

Ø       7-10 March: International Conference on Agrarian Reform and Rural Development, Porto Alegre, Brazil; organized by FAO-SDA. For more:

Ø       20-31 March: Eighth Ordinary Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity, Curitiba, Brazil. For more:

Ø       13-19 May:  IFAP 37th World Farmers’ Congress and 60th Anniversary Celebrations, Seoul, South Korea. Theme: 60 years of empowering farmers – for diversity, for sustainability, for health, for peace. For more:

Ø       20-26 August: Stockholm Water Week (More information about the sessions where the CA will be participating will be provided soon).


CA new publications


CA research in press-(26/1) in ID21-Small-scale fishing: a range of livelihood benefits for poor rural people (Findings of research on impacts of irrigation on fisheries supported by CA)


CA Research Report No. 9, 2005. Historical Transformations of the Lower Jordan River Basin:  Changes in Water Use and Projections (1950 – 2025). Courcier, R., J.P. Venot and François Molle. [PDF 4.45 MB]


IWMI-CA Policy Brief, Environment Flows: Planning for Environmental Water Allocation. Download Brief [PDF 349 KB] based on CA research report 2 "Taking into Account Environmental Water Requirements in Global-scale Water Resources Assessment" by Vladimir Smakhtin, Carmen Revenga and Petra Doll [PDF 1.1 MB] and IWMI Research Report 89 “Planning for Environmental Water Allocations: An Example of Hydrology-based Assessment in the East Rapti River, Nepal” [PDF 442 KB] and the Environmental Flows Newsletter [PDF 268 KB]

CA Discussion Paper No. 2, 2005. Integrated Management of Water, Forest and Land Resources in Nepal:Opportunities for Improved Livelihood, Dhruba Pant, Sabita Thapa, Ashok Singh, Madhusudhan Bhattarai and David Molden [PDF 1.05MB]

Other publications can be downloaded from Publications, including the Blue Paper: Investing in Water for Food, Ecosystems and Livelihoods, Stockholm 2004 [PDF 634 KB] and the book, Water Productivity in Agriculture: Limits and Opportunities for Improvement [Book index HTML]