Merging High-tech and Ancient Water Management Systems for Global Food Security
- Impact Area
Today, we face a myriad of water-related challenges, ranging from water scarcity and drought (due to increasing demand and rising temperatures), extreme weather events and storms, and insufficient access to safe drinking water for many people across the world. Some cities – including Sao Paolo (Brazil), Cape Town (South Africa), Jakarta (Indonesia), and Chennai (India) – have been on the brink of reaching ‘day zero’, in which water reserves are entirely depleted. So, where do we begin to address these challenges? The World Bank estimates that 70% of global freshwater withdrawals are used for agriculture, urging us to develop practices that make the agricultural sector more water efficient, allowing the allocation of resources to other needs.
The Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT carries out research for development projects across Africa, Latin America, and Asia, focusing on each region’s most pressing issues. Some of these projects focus directly on water management, whilst – as the urgency of water management increases – almost all agricultural projects begin to incorporate water efficiency into their operations, recognizing that water cannot be separated from any agricultural activity. Here we explore primary challenges faced in each region of the Alliance’s work, and explore emblematic case studies.