Comprehensive Assessment of Water Management in Agriculture 

CA Info Brief No. 13 – 7 November 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

Water for Food, Water for Life: a Comprehensive Assessment of Water Management in Agriculture

The Comprehensive Assessment book “Water for Food, Water for Life: a Comprehensive Assessment of Water Management in Agriculture” is going through a final process of thorough editing and layout. It will be launched early 2007. (Contact CA secretariat for launch information). We invite you to contribute your illustration/photos (send your captions to


A new CA publication series based on the forthcoming book

The Water for Food, Water for Life Briefs series aims to clarify current debates around water management in agriculture in an accessible way. They are based on the latest findings of the Assessment and scientific knowledge. They are targeted at decision makers. They can be accessed online here.

  • CA in Brief: Influencing What Happens Next, 07/06.
  • Issue Brief 1 ‘Reaping what we sow: Acting now to reduce the negative environmental consequences of agriculture’
  • Issue Brief 2 ‘A little water can go a long way: Reducing rural poverty through better management of rainwater’
  • Issue Brief 3 ‘Making a difference in water management: A minimum agenda on gender mainstreaming for researchers, practitioners and gender experts’
  • Issue Brief 4 ‘Opening up options in closing river basins’
  • Issue Brief 5 ‘Rice Cultivation in the 21st century: How to feed more people, reduce poverty, and protect ecosystem services’
  • Issue brief 6 ‘Investing in Irrigation; Why, how, and how much
  • Issue Brief 7 ‘Reforming reforms: effective approaches to improving policies and institutions for agricultural water management’ (in production).

Forthcoming issues in November include on land management, livestock and water, fisheries and agriculture, and poverty.

CA outreach

CA team presents insights from the Assessment at the Stockholm World Water Week

The CA shared findings from the Assessment in various sessions of the Stockholm World Water Week (20-26 August 2006).  The CA addressed issues around "feeding the world", "impacts of diets", " poverty pathways", "managing ecosystem services of agriculture", "shifting thinking in water management in agriculture in a 1 day session", "closing and closed basins". It presented a discussion paper "Insights from the Comprehensive Assessment on Water Management in Agriculture" that raised a lot of interest from the media (read media coverage), and from the water and agriculture communities.  More on the Stockholm Water Week

The CA book has been presented at various upcoming events in the past months.

- 4-7 September 2006: 9th International River symposium, 'Managing rivers with climate change and expanding populations’. A session on Water for poverty reduction or ecosystems: Are we creating another poverty conundrum? In this session, the consequences of interventions and investments in water management for people and ecosystems were considered. How can water for food be developed and managed to help end poverty and hunger, ensure environmentally sustainable water-agriculture practices, and find the balance between food and environmental security? The session was organized in conjunction with the International Water Management Institute, Sri Lanka (visit the website and contact: Max Finlayson).


- 18-22 September 2006: 2nd Regional Workshop on Agricultural Water Management (AWM) in Eastern and Southern Africa: "Water for the Millennium Development Goal on Poverty and Hunger", Maputo, Mozambique. Key note by David Molden on ‘Upgrading Rainfed Agriculture and Increasing Water Productivity to Meet the MDGs’ (Contact: Prof. Nuhu Hatibu).  


CA Maps

Environmental stress: In response to a large number of requests for the reproduction of original figures from Comprehensive Assessment study on global environmental water assessment (Research Report No. 2, Smakhtin et al, 2004), the maps are now available for download in two formats.  Click here to go to the page.

Irrigation mapping: The Global Irrigation Area Map (GIAM), in its path-finding work, intends to capture the extent of irrigated areas – official, private, informal. It is a joint work of IWMI’s remote sensing and GIS (RS\GIS) unit team and numerous partners. First results were discussed the recent workshop (25-27 September 2006), The International Workshop on Global Irrigated Area Mapping (GIAM), hosted by IWMI, Colombo, Sri Lanka. The map is available for feedback, comments and improvement at The approach and methodology are described in the recently published IWMI research report No.105 (PDF 1.57MB). More. Contact: Prasad Thenkabail (

CA Publications

'Insights' from the Comprehensive Assessment of Water Management in Agriculture. Stockholm World Water Week, 2006. Colombo, Sri Lanka. A Draft discussed at the World Water Week, Stockholm, Sweden, August, 2006. [PDF 2.5MB]


Book: Environment and Livelihoods in Coastal Zones: Managing Agriculture-Fishery-Aquaculture Conflicts’, Editors: Hoanh, C.T., Tuong, T.P., Gowing, J.W., and Hardy, B., June 2006, Series Editor: David Molden, Volume 2, CABI publisher, ISBN: 1 84593 107 0. Order from CABI Publishing. This book is based on the outcomes of a, the International Conference on Environment and Livelihoods in Coastal Zones: Managing Agriculture-Fishery-Aquaculture Conflicts, 1-3 March 2005, Bac Lieu, Vietnam. A joint effort of the CA/IRRI/World Fish Center.

Research Report 12, 2006, Impact of land use on river basin water balance: A case study of the Modder river basin, South Africa. by Woyessa, Y.E., E. Pretorius, P. S. van Heerden, M. Hensley and L.D. van Rensburg [PDF 948 kb]

Partner publications

IWMI Policy Brief 19, ‘Choosing Appropriate Response to Groundwater Depletion’, based on CA research published in IWMI research report No. 71 ‘Policies Drain the North China Plain: Agricultural Policy and Groundwater Depletion in Launcheng County, 1949-2000’ [PDF 427 KB]


IWMI Policy Brief 21, ‘Working Wetlands: a New Approach to Balancing Agricultural Development with Environmental Protection’ 2006.  [PDF 357kb]

Other publications can be downloaded from Publications, including the CA research reports 1-12, CA publications in partners series, Policy Briefs, the book, Water Productivity in Agriculture: Limits and Opportunities for Improvement [Book index HTML]


 Next events for the CA and news


5-10 November 2006: The Third Global Authors Meeting of the International Assessment of Agriculture Science and Technology for Development is taking place in San José, Costa Rica.  Authors are meeting to discuss the review of the first draft of chapters.


6-7 November 2006: “Avenirs de l’agriculture irriguée en méditerranée: nouveaux arrangements institutionnels pour une gestion de la demande en eau” [The future of irrigated agricultrue in the Mediterranean: new institutional arrangements for demand management] Contact :Marcel Kuper, Wademed project (


12-17 November 2006, International Forum on Water and Food: This event is organized by the CGIAR’s Challenge Program on Water and Food (CPWF) and will be held in Vientiane, Lao PDR, hosted by the Mekong River Commission (MRC). Download the entire background document on this Forum and call for abstracts [PDF 124Kb].


News from the CA secretariat team: Domitille Vallée, assessment facilitator, is leaving the team after two exciting synthesis years (thanks to all of you!). She will be on travel through Asia for the next six months and can be reached on