A worldwide assessment of future water needs was conducted by more than 700 scientists. The findings were published in Water for food, water for life: A comprehensive assessment of water management in agriculture.
Researchers concluded that it will be possible to produce enough food in the future only if governments take action to improve water use and productivity in agriculture.
Different solutions will be required for different places. Sub-Saharan Africa needs investments in infrastructure and institutions, and greater success with these investments, while in Asia there is potential to obtain greater yields from existing irrigation.
IWMI believes that revitalizing irrigation across these continents is key to ensuring future populations do not go hungry.
More crop per drop
Using agricultural landscapes for a wider range of functions can also help produce ‘more crop per drop.’ For example, allocating water supplies for multiple uses, such as drinking water, rearing livestock, crop irrigation and fisheries is a good way to increase efficiency at the farm scale. For example, storage ponds created by farmers to help them control water deliveries could also be used to develop fisheries. These can boost family nutrition as well as providing extra income. At the landscape scale, maintaining vital ecosystem services is essential to maximize productivity. This may entail managing nonfarmed land, such as wastelands, rivers and wetlands.