Four reasons small farms are running out of water – and how we can fix it

Originally published as an Op-Ed on Thompson Reuters

From Cape Town to California to the wheat fields of Europe, water-related crises grabbed headlines in 2018. However, a quieter – but no less menacing – crisis has been striking rural areas for years. And it’s hitting smallholder farmers especially hard in the Global South.

Water scarcity is a top risk to global food production. Estimates call for a need to double the production of food by 2050, but water scarcity might spur a future food crisis because smallholder farmers, who are especially at risk, produce a significant share of the world’s food.

Many poor smallholders already do not have enough water to meet their needs; and by 2050, nearly four billion people could be experiencing severe water stress. Yet, past efforts to address this…