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Investing in Water for Food, Ecosystems and Livelihoods

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Molden, David; de Fraiture, Charlotte
Conference: World Water Week
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Conf. Date: August 16 - 20
Date: 2004
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10535/5056
Sector: Agriculture
Water Resource & Irrigation
Subject(s): sustainability
food supply
water management
water resources
poverty alleviation
Abstract: "Sustainably meeting the food and livelihood needs of a growing population will require some very difficult choices about how water is developed and managed in the next 25 years. More food will be necessary, and more food translates into more water for agriculture. More water for agriculture will in many cases mean less for the environment. So how do you manage water for food and the environment? And how do you do so in a way that also reduces poverty? In the following pages we review several policy and water investment options—along with their livelihood and environmental implications. This paper presents issues being addressed by the Comprehensive Assessment of Water Management in Agriculture, an international research program that brings together scientists, development professionals and stakeholders from around the world. This is the first time science has been focused at this level and intensity on answering questions related to water, agriculture, poverty and environmental conservation. The Assessment is at the mid-way mark and won’t be complete until 2006, but already we have evidence to suggest which approaches are the most promising. Our intention in sharing these preliminary findings is to raise awareness that water in agriculture is a pressing issue, that business as usual is not an option, and that there are potential solutions, but they are not necessarily the ones that have received the most attention."

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