Key Issues

  • Governments and donors should place water management as a key component of strategic food security planning
  • Crop yields in both irrigated and rain-fed farming systems in the developing world can be substantially increased with improved water management, but investment in infrastructure and institutions will be needed
  • Variations in weather and climate often mean that the poorest find it difficult to maintain a healthy diet. If crops fail, or yields are low, then people starve or resort to stomach-filling staples of poor nutritional value. We need to improve household resilience by developing better water storage at farm and community level. This will help to ensure year round incomes for smallholder farmers.
  • Successful and sustainable agricultural growth relies on healthy ecosystems. Water managers and food security planners should include the maintenance of ecosystem resilience as a fundamental component of new strategy development.
  • There will be no one-size-fits-all solutions. Different regions will need to adopt tailored water and food security strategies appropriate to their particular hydrology, geography and social capital.