CGIAR Initiative on Diversification in East and Southern Africa and CGIAR Initiative on Gender Equality: Stakeholder Consultation Workshop. Proceedings of the Stakeholder Consultation Workshop, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 31 January 2023
A stakeholder consultation workshop was conducted by the CGIAR Initiatives on Diversification in East and Southern Africa (Ukama Ustawi) and Gender Equality on 31 January 2023 at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The workshop aimed to identify and address barriers that limit participation of women and youth and how these are addressed in an ongoing quot;Veggies for People and Planetquot; program at the World Vegetable Center. The workshop also sought to investigate existing opportunities and recommend possible integrated solutions for more equitable and inclusive value chain development.
Policies / Non-governmental organizations / Resilience / Innovation / Technology / Farm inputs / Diversification / Agribusiness / Vegetables / Stakeholders / Capacity development / Empowerment / Farmers / Youth / s participation / Womenapos / Social inclusion / Gender equality / Agricultural value chains
A systematic review of existing early warning systems’ challenges and opportunities in cloud computing early warning systems
This paper assessed existing EWS challenges and opportunities in cloud computing through the PSALSAR framework for systematic literature review and meta-analysis. The research used extant literature from Scopus and Web of Science, where a total of 2516 pieces of literature were extracted between 2004 and 2022, and through inclusion and exclusion criteria, the total was reduced to 98 for this systematic review. This review highlights the challenges and opportunities in transferring in-house early warning systems (that is, non-cloud) to the cloud computing infrastructure. The different techniques or approaches used in different kinds of EWSs to facilitate climate-related data processing and analytics were also highlighted. The findings indicate that very few EWSs (for example, flood, drought, etc.) utilize the cloud computing infrastructure. Many EWSs are not leveraging the capability of cloud computing but instead using online application systems that are not cloud-based. Secondly, a few EWSs have harnessed the computational techniques and tools available on a single platform for data processing. Thirdly, EWSs combine more than one fundamental tenet of the EWS framework to provide a holistic warning system. The findings suggest that reaching a global usage of climate-related EWS may be challenged if EWSs are not redesigned to fit the cloud computing service infrastructure.
Natural disasters / Frameworks / Modelling / Techniques / Climate prediction / Climate services / Meta-analysis / Systematic reviews / Early warning systems
Books / Monograph
This publication, Water Quality in Agriculture: Risks and Risk Mitigation, emphasizes technical solutions and good agricultural practices, including risk mitigation measures suitable for the contexts of differently resourced institutions working in rural as well as urban and peri-urban settings in low- and middle-income countries. With a focus on sustainability of the overall land use system, the guidelines also cover possible downstream impacts of farm-level decisions. As each country has a range of site-specific conditions related to climate, soil and water quality, crop type and variety, as well as management options, subnational adjustments to the presented guidelines are recommended.; Water Quality in Agriculture: Risks and Risk Mitigation, is intended for use by national and subnational governmental authorities, farm and project managers, extension officers, consultants and engineers to evaluate water quality data, and identify potential problems and solutions related to water quality. The presented guidelines will also be of value to the scientific research community and university students.
Case studies / Cultural factors / Environmental factors / Farmers / Citizen science / River basins / Ecology / Livestock / Aquaculture / Recycling / Wastewater treatment / Health hazards / Human health / Risk analysis / Risk management / Parameters / Heavy metals / Chemical contamination / Contaminants / Salinity / Crop production / Irrigation water / Irrigated farming / Good agricultural practices / Regulations / Standards / Water reuse / Monitoring / Pathogens / Microbiological risk assessment / Goal 6 Clean water and sanitation / Sustainable Development Goals / Water pollution / Mitigation / Risk reduction / Agricultural water use / Water quality
Journal Whole Issues / Newsletter
Maps / Satellite observation / Reservoirs / Discharge / Rivers / Normalized difference vegetation index / Dry spells / Rainfall / Precipitation / Climate prediction / Weather forecasting / Drought
Journal Whole Issues / Newsletter
Maps / Satellite observation / Reservoirs / Discharge / Rivers / Normalized difference vegetation index / Dry spells / Rainfall / Precipitation / Climate prediction / Weather forecasting / Drought
Networks / Partnerships / Financing / Human capital / Social capital / Sustainable Development Goals / Nature-based solutions / Infrastructure / Cities / Urban planning / Integrated water resources management / Water security
Freshwater biodiversity loss is accelerating globally, but humanity can change this trajectory through actions that enable recovery. To be successful, these actions require coordination and planning at a global scale. The Emergency Recovery Plan for global freshwater biodiversity aims to reduce the risk for freshwater biodiversity loss through six priority actions: (1) accelerate implementation of environmental flows; (2) improve water quality to sustain aquatic life; (3) protect and restore critical habitats; (4) manage exploitation of freshwater species and riverine aggregates; (5) prevent and control nonnative species invasions in freshwater habitats; and (6) safeguard and restore freshwater connectivity. These actions can be implemented using future-proofing approaches that anticipate future risks (e.g., emerging pollutants, new invaders, and synergistic effects) and minimize likely stressors to make conservation of freshwater biodiversity more resilient to climate change and other global environmental challenges. While uncertainty with respect to past observations is not a new concern for freshwater biodiversity, future-proofing has the distinction of accounting for the uncertainty of future conditions that have no historical baseline. The level of uncertainty with respect to future conditions is unprecedented. Future-proofing of the Emergency Recovery Plan for freshwater biodiversity will require anticipating future changes and developing and implementing actions to address those future changes. Here, we showcase future-proofing approaches likely to be successful using local case studies and examples. Ensuring that response options within the Emergency Recovery Plan are future-proofed will provide decision makers with science-informed choices, even in the face of uncertain and potentially new future conditions. We are at an inflection point for global freshwater biodiversity loss; learning from defeats and successes can support improved actions toward a sustainable future.
Uncertainty / Strategies / Resilience / Protected areas / Rivers / Ecosystem restoration / Invasive species / Habitats / Water quality / Environmental flows / Climate change / Risk reduction / Biodiversity conservation / Freshwater ecosystems
Books / Monograph
There is currently no water cooperation between Afghanistan and Pakistan. Of the nine rivers that flow across the border, none possess a formal agreement or mechanism to manage shared water resources. Further, there is very little information available about the status of environment, hydrology and water resources management for these river basins that could be used as a starting point for dialogues on transboundary water coordination. This State of the Basins book co-develops an overview of the three most important river basins, in collaboration with international experts and water professionals from Afghanistan and Pakistan. It covers water resources, land resources, ecological health, environment, climate change, and the social and economic conditions for sustainable management of these precious resources. It will inform decision making within the two countries, and begin to establish benefits that can accrue from more active collaboration on these shared waters.; This book: Focuses on portions of the Indus shared by Afghanistan and Pakistan.; Features extensive engagement and co-development with Afghan and Pakistani professionals.; Is the first book on the shared waters in the Indus, developed in the context of regional realities associated with post-August 2021 Taliban takeover.; The book is aimed at students and researchers in water rights and resources, and government decision makers, private sector investors, donors, intermediary organizations that work directly with farmers, researchers and students. It is a reference book for graduate students and researchers working on these basins, and on transboundary river basin management in Asia and beyond.
Hydropower / Reservoirs / Institutions / Legislation / Water law / Water policies / Water governance / Hydrology / Trends / Climate prediction / Temperature / Precipitation / Climate change / Sustainable Development Goals / Energy security / Economic growth / Employment / Livelihoods / Food security / Human health / Poverty / Demography / Socioeconomic development / Land use / Irrigation / Water quality / Water management / Agricultural water use / Groundwater / Surface water / Sustainability / Water security / International cooperation / Water resources / River basin management / Water sharing / Transboundary waters
Accuracy of satellite and reanalysis rainfall estimates over Africa: a multi-scale assessment of eight products for continental applications
Study Region: Continental Africa Study Focus: This study evaluates the accuracy of eight gauge-corrected rainfall products across Africa through direct comparisons with in situ observations for the period 2001–2020. The effect of validation datasets on the performance of the rainfall products was also quantified in ten African countries. Four categorical and five continuous metrics were estimated at multiple spatial and temporal scales as part of the evaluation. New hydrological insights for the Region: Results indicate that the performance of the rainfall products varied in space and time. Evaluation at temporal scales revealed that, on average, most rainfall products showed poor results (KGE lt; 0.35) at the daily timescale. In contrast, RFE v2.0, ARC v2.0, and MSWEP v2.8 were reliable (KGE gt; 0.75) at the monthly and annual timescales. Among the rainfall products, the performance of TAMSATv3.1, PERSIANN-CDR, and ERA 5 was relatively poor in capturing in situ observations. Evaluation at various spatial scales revealed mixed results. The ARC v2.0 and CHIRPS v2.0 rainfall products were reliable in detecting no rains (lt; 1 mm/day) for all 19 spatial scales, indicating a high level of confidence for drought studies. IMERG-F v6B and RFE v2.0 were reliable in detecting heavy and high-intensity rainfall events for all spatial scales. Using the KGE performance metrics at the regional level, MSWEP v2.8 in the Northern Africa region, RFE v2.0 in the Western and Southern Africa regions, ARC v2.0 in Central Africa, and CHIRPS v2.0 in the Eastern Africa region showed better performances at monthly timescale. Moreover, the performance of the gauge-corrected rainfall datasets was reduced when compared with independent validation data (gauge data not used by rainfall products) than dependent validation data. This study provides several new insights into choosing a rainfall product for continental to regional applications and identifies the need for bias correction.
Observation / Rain gauges / Climatic zones / River basins / Climatology / Evaluation / Performance assessment / Models / Datasets / Satellites / Estimation / Rainfall
Ethiopia is highly susceptible to the effects of climate change and variability. This study evaluated the performances of 37 CMIP6 models against a gridded rainfall product of Ethiopia known as Enhancing National Climate Services (ENACTS) in simulating the observed rainfall from 1981 to 2014. Taylor Skill Score was used for ranking the performance of individual models for mean monthly, June–September, and February–May seasonal rainfall. Comprehensive rating metrics (RM) were used to derive the overall ranks of the models. Results show that the performances of the models were not consistent in reproducing rainfall distributions at different statistical metrics and timeframes. More than 20 models simulated the largest dry bias on high topographic and rainfall-receiving areas of the country during the June–September season. The RM-based overall ranks of CMIP6 models showed that GFDL-CM4 is the best-performing model followed by GFDL-ESM4, NorESM2-MM, and CESM2 in simulating rainfall over Ethiopia. The ensemble of these four Global Climate Models showed the best performance in representing the spatiotemporal patterns of the observed rainfall relative to the ensembles of all models. Generally, this study highlighted the existence of dry bias in climate model projections for Ethiopia, which requires bias adjustment of the models, for impact assessment.
Climate change / Datasets / Seasonal variation / Precipitation / Trends / Spatial distribution / Rainfall patterns / Evaluation / Performance assessment / Climate models
Training / Monitoring and evaluation / Socioeconomic aspects / Water use / Irrigation schemes / Investment / Water productivity / Water accounting
Migration governance and agricultural and rural change: findings from a consultation workshop in Madhesh Province of Nepal [Policy Brief of the Migration Governance and Agricultural and Rural Change (AGRUMIG) Project]
In the year 2021/22 alone, over 100,000 labor permits were issued to migrant workers from Madhesh Province for employment primarily in countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and Malaysia. Saudi Arabia and Qatar received the largest number of Nepali migrants from Madhesh Province with 37,822 and 36,358, respectively, in 2021/22. This brief presents key points raised and discussed at a workshop organized in Janakpur, the capital of Madhesh Province of Nepal, on July 12, 2022, on agricultural and rural changes in the context of this high rate of international labor migration from the province. The workshop provided a unique opportunity to bring together farmers, returnee migrants, academics and relevant representatives from the provincial government to generate a dialogue around the divergent outcomes of migrant labor for rural communities, and the barriers and opportunities to harness remittances to support rural development.
Women / Policies / Local government / Fertilizers / Fisheries / Farmers / Employment / Migrant labour / Rural areas / Agriculture / Governance / Migration
Preparing for, coping with and bouncing back after shocks. A nuanced resilience assessment for smallholder farms and farmers in northern Ghana
Smallholder farmers in Northern Ghana regularly face shocks, challenging the sustainability of their farms and livelihoods. Different farm households and household members may be differently affected and respond with different coping strategies. We combined whole-farm modelling and farmer consultations to investigate the vulnerability, buffer and adaptive capacity of three farm types in Northern Ghana towards severe climate, economic and social shocks. We further assessed intrahousehold differences in respective risk mitigation and coping strategies. Our model results indicate that the drought shock would most severely affect all farm types, drastically reducing their operating profits and soil organic matter balance. The medium resource endowed farm was most affected by shocks, but all farm types could enhance their capacity to recover by adopting technology packages for sustainable intensification. Gendered coping strategies included livestock sales, post-harvest storage, activating social networks, rice processing and the collection, processing and sales of wild nuts and fruits. Farmers reported to aim at becoming more resilient by increasing their herd size and expanding their farmland, thereby risking to increase rather than reduce the pressure on natural resources. New questions arise concerning the carrying capacity of local ecosystems and resilience at community and landscape level.
Profit / Livestock / Gender / Soil organic matter / Farm models / Technology / Risk reduction / Labour shortage / Fall armyworms / Crops / Drought / Climate change / Economic shock / Coping strategies / Resilience / Farmers / Smallholders / Vulnerability / Sustainable intensification
Policy gaps and food systems optimization: a review of agriculture, environment, and health policies in South Africa
South Africa faces the triple burden of malnutrition, high poverty levels, unemployment, and inequality. “Wicked problems” such as these require innovative and transdisciplinary responses, multi-stakeholder coordination and collaboration, managing complex synergies and trade-os, and achieving sustainable outcomes. Through qualitative content analysis of national and provincial sector-based policies, we explored the interlinkages between the agriculture, environment, and health sectors in South Africa in the context of sustainable food and nutrition security and the extent to which these interlinkages are integrated into policy and planning. A systemic analysis of the review outcomes was performed to identify its main learning outcome, the status quo in the policy process. The nature of feedback loops was identified, and a leverage point was suggested. The review highlighted that policymakers in the agriculture, environment and health sectors are aware of, and have understood, the relationships among the three sectors. They have also made attempts to address these interlinkages through collaboration and coordination. Unfortunately, this has been met with several challenges due to fragmented sector-specific mandates and targets and a lack of resources for integrated solutions. This creates implementation gaps and unintended duplication of activities, leading to poor service delivery. Transitioning to sustainable and healthy food systems will only be possible after these gaps have been closed and implementation optimization has been achieved. Focusing on meta-level problem-framing, functional collaboration through transdisciplinary approaches, and integrated targets are critical to successful policy implementation and progressive realization of national goals related to sustainable food and nutrition security, unemployment, poverty, and inequality.
Legislation / Government / Poverty / Unemployment / Vulnerability / Coordination / Collaboration / Food systems / Health policies / Environmental policies / Agricultural policies / Nutrition security / Food security
Climate change strongly influences the available water resources in a watershed due to direct linkage of atmospheric driving forces and changes in watershed hydrological processes. Understanding how these climatic changes affect watershed hydrology is essential for human society and environmental processes. Coupled Model Intercomparison Project phase 6 (CMIP6) dataset of three GCM’s (BCC-CSM2-MR, INM-CM5-0, and MPI-ESM1-2-HR) with resolution of 100 km has been analyzed to examine the projected changes in temperature and precipitation over the Astore catchment during 2020–2070. Bias correction method was used to reduce errors. In this study, statistical significance of trends was performed by using the Man- Kendall test. Sen’s estimator determined the magnitude of the trend on both seasonal and annual scales at Rama Rattu and Astore stations. MPI-ESM1-2-HR showed better results with coefficient of determination (COD) ranging from 0.70–0.74 for precipitation and 0.90–0.92 for maximum and minimum temperature at Astore, Rama, and Rattu followed by INM-CM5-0 and BCC-CSM2-MR. University of British Columbia Watershed model was used to attain the future hydrological series and to analyze the hydrological response of Astore River Basin to climate change. Results revealed that by the end of the 2070s, average annual precipitation is projected to increase up to 26.55% under the SSP1–2.6, 6.91% under SSP2–4.5, and decrease up to 21.62% under the SSP5–8.5. Precipitation also showed considerable variability during summer and winter. The projected temperature showed an increasing trend that may cause melting of glaciers. The projected increase in temperature ranges from - 0.66C to 0.50C, 0.9C to 1.5C and 1.18C to 2C under the scenarios of SSP1–2.6, SSP2–4.5 and SSP5–8.5, respectively. Simulated streamflows presented a slight increase by all scenarios. Maximum streamflow was generated under SSP5–8.5 followed by SSP2–4.5 and SSP1–2.6. The snowmelt and groundwater contributions to streamflow have decreased whereas rainfall and glacier melt components have increased on the other hand. The projected streamflows (2020–2070) compared to the control period (1990–2014) showed a reduction of 3%–11%, 2%–9%, and 1%–7% by SSP1–2.6, SSP2–4.5, and SSP5–8.5, respectively. The results revealed detailed insights into the performance of three GCMs, which can serve as a blueprint for regional policymaking and be expanded upon to establish adaption measures.
Temperature / Precipitation / Forecasting / Climate models / Runoff / Stream flow / Watersheds / River basins / Hydrological modelling / Climate change / Climate prediction
Field site soil aquifer treatment shows enhanced wastewater quality: evidence from vadose zone hydro-geophysical observations
Soil aquifer treatment (SAT) is an emerging, nature-based, economically viable wastewater treatment solution. Currently, most SAT experiments are done at the laboratory scale, which cannot generate the same conditions as natural field sites and limits the understanding of treatment efficiency. The current study carried out in situ SAT experiments in the Musi River basin in India, where wastewater irrigation is a common practice. SAT efficiency was determined using an integrated approach, including electrical resistivity tomography (ERT) surveys, soil investigations (grain size, permeability, and moisture measurements), and biochemical characterization of raw and SAT treated wastewater. The ERT scans of SAT column show lower order electrical resistivity 10-30 O-m with enhanced chargeability gt;5–6 mV/V attributed to the vadose zone, characterized by clay-rich soil and sandy soil up to 5–6 m depth. The increase in sand percentage (gt;70%) below 140–160 cm depth corroborates with the high moisture content (23.5%). The vadose zone permeability (K) 1.58 m/day and discharge (Q) 38.19 m3/day is used to determine the pollutants reduction efficiency of SAT column. Hydrogeological and biogeochemical observations reveal that the improved dissolved oxygen from lt;1.0 to 5–6 mg/L in the vadose zone catalyzes the oxidation of organic matter resulting in the reduction of BOD and COD up to 92% and 97%, respectively, and denitrification reducing NO3-- (0.55 kg/day). In addition, the precipitation and adsorption by kaolinite clay prompted the reduction of PO42- (0.26 kg/day). Furthermore, the oxic-vadose zone could not support the growth of coliforms and faecal coliforms, and the reduction observed was up to 99.99% in the SAT production well. Overall, the results indicated a positive outcome with SAT efficiency and framed the SAT sitting criteria for different geological environments.
Pollutants / Hydrogeology / River basins / Periurban areas / Wastewater irrigation / Groundwater / Aquifers / Soil moisture / Experimentation / Parameters / Water quality / Nature-based solutions / Wastewater treatment
Unlocking the potential of farmer-led irrigation development in central and northern Nigeria: what does it take?
The potential for profitable groundwater irrigated area development in Nigeria is 5.04 million hectares (ha), almost all of it located in the country’s central and northern states. To develop this vast area, granular water budgets, financial service provision and support to grow sustainability of production will be needed. Increasing temperature, erratic rainfall, and other extreme events, such as floods and droughts, pose severe threats to development in Nigeria, and particularly in central and northern Nigeria where rainfall is limited, natural resources are threatened by degradation and agriculture, including livestock production, is the major economic driver. Climate change has significant adverse impacts on agricultural production and livelihoods, making the regions’ poor and disadvantaged people even more vulnerable. Agricultural productivity is already affected by climate extreme events and further land expansion would increase degradation and deforestation. At the same time, the central and northern regions of the country are blessed with substantial underground water resources that have been barely tapped. At this point, the potential of farmer-led irrigation, a system where farmers acquire the irrigation technology and access to a water source themselves, is barely exploited. What role could farmer-led, small-scale irrigation play in growing agricultural productivity, rural employment and incomes, and reducing climate stress? And what mechanisms are needed to make this happen?
Agriculture / Climate change / Costs / Pumps / Irrigation technology / Groundwater irrigation / Small-scale irrigation / Solar energy / Water resources / Solar powered irrigation systems / Socioeconomic aspects / Innovation scaling / Farmer-led irrigation
Determining the marketing margin for irrigation technologies in Ghana: a supply chain perspective. Adaptive Innovation Scaling - Pathways from Small-scale Irrigation to Sustainable Development
Food security / Climate change / Sustainable development / Farmer-led irrigation / Smallholders / Partnerships / Intervention / Projects / Non-governmental organizations / Government agencies / Taxes / Imports / Investment / Drip irrigation / Pumps / Solar powered irrigation systems / Irrigation equipment / Strategies / Cost benefit analysis / Innovation scaling / Small-scale irrigation / Supply chains / Irrigation technology / Marketing margins
Processing biomass from different waste streams into marketable products such as organic fertilizer and bio-energy is increasingly realized through public-private partnerships (PPPs). In developing countries, the private sector can be expected to contribute technical skills, organizational capabilities and marketing expertise, and leverage capital inflow. In contrast, the public sector will provide the regulatory framework and help its enforcement, plan public investment, involve and educate stakeholders, and ensure waste supply. This report reviews case studies that implemented PPPs in resource recovery and reuse (RRR) from waste streams with a particular focus on Asia and Africa, including those PPPs facilitated by the authors. Critical factors behind the success and failure of these cases are analyzed. The review indicates three key barriers to success: (i) waste-related bottlenecks, (ii) limited awareness about RRR products and their market(ing), and (iii) lack of proper institutional frameworks. Common shortfalls concern failure to meet commitments related to the quality and quantity of waste, missing understanding of the reuse market, etc. The report points out mitigation measures addressing possible challenges around appropriate technologies, finance and revenue streams, legal issues, as well as social and environmental concerns. It is required to establish close monitoring, appropriate procurement mechanisms and due diligence during the project preparation and pre-bid. If possible, such a PPP project should consider risk and commercial viability assessment as well as financial strategy planning (scaling). Successful involvement of the private sector in the RRR market is critical to close the resource loop and safeguard human and environmental health, which is the overarching objective of sustainable waste management.
Awareness / Communities / Soil quality / Faecal sludge / Agricultural wastes / Climate change mitigation / Carbon credits / Sustainability / Contracts / Procurement planning / Municipal authorities / Stakeholders / Small and medium enterprises / Marketing / Investment / Infrastructure / Social analysis / Environmental assessment / Costs / Project design / Feasibility studies / Economic viability / Legal frameworks / Regulations / Policies / Risk management / Financial analysis / Innovation / Appropriate technology / Scaling up / Markets / Business models / Briquettes / Biogas / Bioenergy / Organic fertilizers / Organic wastes / Composting / Recycling / Solid wastes / Waste management / Case studies / Developing countries / Public-private partnerships / Bioeconomy / Circular economy / Reuse / Resource management / Resource recovery
There is increased awareness that the current food system is unsustainable and that transformative research, development and innovation in agricultural water management (AWM) are needed to transform water and food systems under climate change. We provide an overview of research efforts, challenges, opportunities and innovations to improve water resource management and sustainability, especially in the agricultural sector. We highlight how sustainable AWM is central to balancing the needs of a growing population and increasing food demand under increasing water insecurity and scarcity, with environmental and socio-economic outcomes. Innovative technologies are being developed to optimize water use and productivity through sustainable irrigation technologies, irrigation modernization and smart water management. However, these innovations still need to fully address equity, inequality and social justice concerning access to water, infrastructure and the delayed technological advances in the global South. This requires adopting transdisciplinary approaches, as espoused by the water–energy–food (WEF) nexus, to better anticipate and balance trade-offs, optimize synergies and mitigate risks of maladaptation. Through such transdisciplinary approaches, AWM innovations could better consider local socio-economic, governance, institutional and technological constraints, thus allowing for more contextualized and relevant innovations that can be scaled.
Socioeconomic aspects / Climate change / Irrigated farming / Water use / Water productivity / Irrigation technology / Nexus approaches / Food systems / Energy consumption / Water resources / Transformation / Sustainable development / Innovation / Research / Water security / Agricultural water management
Journal Whole Issues / Newsletter
Maps / Satellite observation / Surface water / Normalized difference vegetation index / Climate prediction / Dry spells / Rainfall / Precipitation / Weather forecasting / Drought
Using water-energy-food-environment (WEFE) nexus as the prism, this review explores evolution of groundwater governance in Iran, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, China, Bangladesh and India – which together account for two-thirds of the global groundwater-irrigated area. Global discourse has blamed widespread water scarcity squarely on supply-side policymaking and advocated a broader template of water governance instruments. Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) presented just such a template – with pricing, participation, rights and entitlements, laws, regulations, and river basin organizations – as additional water governance tools. However, the IWRM template faced disillusionment and pushback in many emerging economies. WEFE nexus, the new paradigm, prioritizes system-level optima over sectoral maxima by harnessing synergies and optimizing trade-offs between food, water, energy, soil, and eco-system sustainability within planetary boundaries. Realizing this vision presents a complex challenge in groundwater governance. Global groundwater economy comprises three sub-economies: (a) diesel-powered unregulated, as in Nepal terai, eastern India, Bangladesh, Pakistan Punjab and Sind, and much of Sub-Saharan Africa, where use-specific energy subsidies are impractical; (b) electricity-powered regulated, as in North America and Europe, where tubewells are authorized, metered and subject to consumption-linked energy charges; and (c) electricity-powered unregulated, as in geographies covered by our review – barring China, Bengal and Bangladesh – where unmeasured electricity subsidies have created a bloated groundwater economy. This last sub-economy represents the heartland of global groundwater malgovernance, least equipped to meet the sustainability challenge. It has an estimated 300 million horsepower of grid-connected electric pumps that are either unauthorized and/or unmetered and/or use free or heavily subsidized or pilfered power for irrigating 50–52 million hectares, nearly half of global groundwater-irrigated area. In (a) and (b), groundwater scarcity inspires water-energy saving behavior via increased energy cost of pumping. In sub-economy (c), users are immune to energy costs and impervious to groundwater depletion. Here, the WEFE nexus has remained blind to the irrigation realpolitik that catalyzes or constrains policy action. We explore why the political costs of rationalizing subsidies are prohibitive and exemplify how a smart transition from fossil to solar energy for pumping may offer an opportunity to turn the perverse WEFE nexus into a virtuous one.
Farmers / Water use / Groundwater depletion / Climate change / Policies / Electricity / Subsidies / Pumps / Tube wells / Solar powered irrigation systems / Integrated water resources management / Water scarcity / Water governance / Nexus approaches / Environmental factors / Food security / Energy consumption / Groundwater irrigation
Surface water quality, public health, and ecological risks in Bangladesh—a systematic review and meta-analysis over the last two decades
Water quality has recently emerged as one of the utmost severe ecological problems being faced by the developing countries all over the world, and Bangladesh is no exception. Both surface and groundwater sources contain different contaminants, which lead to numerous deaths due to water-borne diseases, particularly among children. This study presents one of the most comprehensive reviews on the current status of water quality in Bangladesh with a special emphasis on both conventional pollutants and emerging contaminants. Data show that urban rivers in Bangladesh are in a critical condition, especially Korotoa, Teesta, Rupsha, Pashur, and Padma. The Buriganga River and few locations in the Turag, Balu, Sitalakhya, and Karnaphuli rivers have dissolvable oxygen (DO) levels of almost zero. Many waterways contain traces of NO3, NO2, and PO4-3 pollutants. The majority of the rivers in Bangladesh also have Zn, Cu, Fe, Pb, Cd, Ni, Mn, As, and Cr concentrations that exceed the WHO permissible limits for safe drinking water, while their metal concentrations exceed the safety threshold for irrigation. Mercury poses the greatest hazard with 90.91% of the samples falling into the highest risk category. Mercury is followed by zinc 57.53% and copper 29.16% in terms of the dangers they pose to public health and the ecosystem. Results show that a considerable percentage of the population is at risk, being exposed to contaminated water. Despite hundreds of cryptosporidiosis cases reported, fecal contamination, i.e., Cryptosporidium, is totally ignored and need serious considerations to be regularly monitored in source water.
Water policies / Water management / Rivers / Drinking water / Cryptosporidium / Faecal coliforms / Biological contamination / Lead / Mercury / Chromium / Cadmium / Arsenic / Heavy metals / Anions / Cations / Hydrochemistry / Physicochemical properties / Ecological factors / Water pollution / Health hazards / Risk assessment / Public health / Water quality / Surface water
Proceedings of the Workshop of the Stakeholder Consultation on Policy Coherence among Food, Land, and Water Systems in India, New Delhi, India, 16 June 2023
Under the CGIAR Initiative on National Policies and Strategies (NPS), International Water Management Institute (IWMI) and Council for Energy, Environment, and Water (CEEW) jointly organized a National Stakeholder Workshop on “Policy Coherence for Food, Land, and Water” in India on 16th June 2023 at India Habitat Center in New Delhi. Guided by NITI Aayog, an apex public policy think tank of the Government of India, IWMI and CEEW researched the policy landscape at the national level in the food, land, and water (FLW) sectors, shortlisting seven central government schemes to understand ways to strengthen policy coherence and impact. The workshop was attended by representatives from the Ministry of Jal Shakti, the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, NITI Aayog and 17 government and civil society organizations working in the food, land, and water sectors. Under the able guidance of Debashree Mukherjee (Special Secretary, Ministry of Jal Shakti) and Avinash Mishra (Advisor, NITI Aayog), the participants discussed the study’s key recommendations, existing institutional mechanisms to catalyze coherence, harnessing synergies and balancing trade-offs across the food, land, and water sectors.
Sustainability / Livelihoods / Development programmes / Government / State intervention / Stakeholders / Policy coherence / Water systems / Land resources / Food systems
Working / Discussion Paper
Environmental flows in support of sustainable intensification of agriculture in the Letaba River Basin, South Africa
This study evaluates the socioecological consequences of the potential trade-offs between maintaining environmental flows (e-flows) and providing water for sustainable subsistence agriculture and livelihoods to the vulnerable human communities living along the lower Great Letaba River in South Africa. Implementation of e-flows is now generally recognized as an essential part of water resources management as they are designed to ensure that sufficient water is retained in a river to protect river ecosystems and all the beneficiaries of services that arise from those ecosystems. Understanding the relationship between e-flows and the use of water for small-scale agriculture is important for the management of trade-offs. The Letaba River Basin and itapos;s tributary, the Great/Groot Letaba, are located in the eastern part of the Limpopo province in South Africa. This is one of the most important river basins in the region supporting both large-scale commercial and small-scale farmers. The river sustains many vulnerable human communities who depend on the ecosystem services provided by the river. Yet, the water resources of the Letaba River are heavily overutilized due to expanding developments, including upstream dams with associated offtakes mostly for irrigation. The findings of the study indicate that irrigation water demand from subsistence agriculture in the Great Letaba Basin amounted to around 2 million cubic meters annually with median demand not exceeding 300,000 cubic meters per month. This means that irrigation water demand from smallholder agriculture only amounts to about one-tenth of the estimated e-flow requirement. However, small-scale farmers contend with an increasing crop water gap which limits irrigated agriculture, especially during the dry season. Given the need to sustainably maintain e-flows for ecological purposes, crop water gaps are only likely to increase and compromise the sustainability of irrigated agriculture. With active upstream supplementation of river flows from dams to maintain both environmental and livelihoods-oriented river flows, the crop water gap can be fully eliminated. This supplementation is not assured due to competing uses.
Modelling / Land rights / Water rights / Sustainable Development Goals / Food security / Policies / Rural communities / Risk / Women / Gender / Farmers / Smallholders / Livestock / Fishing / Catchment areas / River flow / Ecosystem services / Crop yield / Water requirements / Crop water use / Subsistence farming / Irrigated farming / Irrigation water / Water demand / Water availability / Water management / Water resources / River basins / Livelihoods / Small-scale farming / Sustainable intensification / Sustainable agriculture / Environmental flows
This study aimed to compare the performance of six regional climate models (RCMs) in simulating observed and projecting future climate in the Savannah zone of Ghana, in order to find suitable methods to improve the accuracy of climate models in the region. The study found that the accuracy of both individual RCMs and their ensemble mean improved with bias correction, but the performance of individual RCMs was dependent on location. The projected change in annual precipitation indicated a general decline in rainfall with variations based on the RCM and location. Projections under representative concentration pathway (RCP) 8.5 were larger than those under RCP 4.5. The changes in mean temperature recorded were 1 C for the 2020s for both RCPs, 1–4 C for the 2050s under both RCPs, and 1– 4 C under RCP 4.5, and from 2 to 8 C for the 2080s. These findings will aid farmers and governments in the West African subregion in making informed decisions and planning cost-effective climate adaptation strategies to reduce the impact of climate change on the ecosystem. The study highlights the importance of accurate climate projections to reduce vulnerability to climate change and the need to improve climate models in projecting climate in the West African subregion.
Savannahs / Weather forecasting / Temperature / Rainfall patterns / Precipitation / Strategies / Climate change adaptation / Climate prediction / Performance assessment / Climate models
Decoding the vitality of earth observation for flood monitoring in the Lower Godavari River Basin, India
The entire Indian subcontinent experienced devastating floods in the year 2022. The central section of the Godavari river basin (GRB) received torrential rainfall from the southwest monsoon during the second week of July 2022. This study exhibits how Earth observation (EO) datasets and cloud platforms like Google Earth Engine (GEE) can be used for swift, lucid and accurate decoding of the flood inundation signatures. Geospatial analysts can estimate concurrent floods using high-resolution C-band SAR/Sentinel-1 images, gridded precipitation and streamflow forecast datasets. The GPM (IMERG) precipitation data showed an incremental trend with prime hotspots, rainfall dissemination and retrieval from 01–20 July 2022 in the mid-GRB. The flood inundation layers were derived based on Otsu’s method with selective topographic conditions from Sentinel-1 in GEE. Five significant flood affected case sites were identified in the lower GRB from Kothapalli to Yanam town, where the Godavari river meets the Bay of Bengal. Large stretches of agricultural lands were found to be inundated, resulting in extensive economic losses. Such flooded farmlands surrounding Kothapalli, Bhadrachalam, Kunavaram, Polavaram and Yanam towns were estimated as 60, 91, 86, 170 and 142 km2 on 16 and 21 July 2022, respectively. The results were validated and cross-verified using bulletins and maps issued by various national agencies. Hence, EO, GEE and cloud analytical techniques are modern untapped potential e-assets vital for incorporation in policy frameworks helping disaster managers with comprehensive flood condition analysis.
Satellite imagery / Climate change / Monsoons / Rainfall / Forecasting / Stream flow / Datasets / River basins / Earth observation satellites / Monitoring / Floods
Universal access to affordable clean energy continues to be a challenge across the globe. Women’s and marginalised groups’ access to clean energy services and green technologies remains constrained by intersectional social factors and gender-blind policies. The recurrent failure of policies to consider differentiated gender and social inclusion needs is a significant obstacle to sustainable development. Underlining the concepts of energy poverty and energy justice, this Policy Brief identifies the key institutional and social constraints to addressing issues of gender equality and social inclusion (GESI) in energy policy in the South Asian region. Studying the case of Nepal, the brief makes recommendations on how to facilitate a gender- and socially inclusive energy transition. These include developing evidence-based gender policies and socially inclusive energy policies; fostering a government culture of intersectoral collaboration; and investing in a workforce able to address the technological challenges to achieving energy justice.
Households / Case studies / Caste systems / Governance / Technology / s participation / Womenapos / Electricity / Energy poverty / Goal 7 Affordable and clean energy / Sustainable Development Goals / Energy policies / Social inclusion / Gender equality
Migration as adaptation to freshwater and inland hydroclimatic changes? A meta-review of existing evidence
Due to its potential geo-political and environmental implications, climate migration is an increasing concern to the international community. However, while there is considerable attention devoted to migration in response to sea-level rise, there is a limited understanding of human mobility due to freshwater and inland hydroclimatic changes. Hence, the aim of this paper is to examine the existing evidence on migration as an adaptation strategy due to freshwater and inland hydroclimatic changes. A meta-review of papers published between 2014 and 2019 yielded 67 publications, the majority of which focus on a handful of countries in the Global South. Droughts, floods, extreme heat, and changes in seasonal precipitation patterns were singled out as the most common hazards triggering migration. Importantly, most of the papers discuss mobility as part of a portfolio of responses. Motivations to migrate at the household level range from survival to searching for better economic opportunities. The outcomes of migration are mixed — spanning from higher incomes to difficulties in finding employment after moving and struggles with a higher cost of living. While remittances can be beneficial, migration does not always have a positive outcome for those who are left behind. Furthermore, this meta-review shows that migration, even when desired, is not an option for some of the most vulnerable households. These multifaceted results suggest that, while climate mobility is certainly happening due to freshwater and inland hydroclimatic changes, studies reviewing it are limited and substantial gaps remain in terms of geographical coverage, implementation assessments, and outcomes evaluation. We argue that these gaps need to be filled to inform climate and migration policies that increasingly need to be intertwined rather than shaped in isolation from each other.
Case studies / Households / Risk reduction / Weather hazards / Vulnerability / Labour mobility / Climate change / Hydroclimate / Freshwater / Strategies / Adaptation / Migration
How should we enhance the pre-departure and post-migration training program for Thai overseas migrant workers? [Policy Brief of the Migration Governance and Agricultural and Rural Change (AGRUMIG) Project]
This brief focuses on international labor migration through a bilateral agreement and pre-departure training program in four major destination countries. Migration has been a common strategy for rural households to cope with fluctuations in agricultural production and prices, land pressure, and income diversification. Internal labor migration between rural and urban areas is most often for work in construction, manufacturing and services in industrial estate areas in cities including Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Phitsanulok, Khon Kaen, Nakhon Ratchasima, Ayutthaya, Chonburi, and Rayong. Many people leave Thailand to find work abroad, where there are better income and job prospects.
Government / Remittances / Agreements / Employment / Foreign workers / Training programmes / Migrant labour / Migration
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