Sustainable Growth

Water management for transforming economies

Across the developing world, the numbers of working-age people have rapidly expanded, boosting demand for employment and putting additional pressure on food supplies and natural resources.

How well countries meet this challenge depends on their ability to transform agriculture and the wider economy – strengthening value chains and markets in ways that are equitable and environmentally sustainable. This, in turn, requires effective management of natural capital (including water), with a focus on gender equity in job creation.

Invariably, there will be competing demands for water. To manage difficult tradeoffs, societies need more effective institutions capable of implementing appropriate policies and incentives for change. IWMI and its partners help promote the necessary conditions for sustainable growth by developing and disseminating:

  • Knowledge, tools and methods for future scenario and trends analysis, which better enable planners to manage the intricate links between water, food and energy security
  • Water innovations for agriculture and agribusiness that create opportunities for rural employment and transformation
  • Options for achieving inclusive and gender-sensitive outcomes, while stimulating effective  water governance more broadly through strong institutions and sound policies

Our strategic program on sustainable growth provides a clear focus for initiatives aimed at avoiding the economic and environmental failures that can perpetuate social unrest and mass migration.


Alan Nicol (, Strategic Program Leader