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A precious resource under stress

Water stress is the risk with the most potential impact on the livelihoods of poor rural communities. More than a billion people live in water-scarce regions, and as many as 3.5 billion could face water scarcity by 2025. Growing populations, expanding cities, climate change and unsustainable resource management all increase water stress on rural communities.

Flooding, landslides and salt water intrusion into freshwater systems are worsened by increased climate variability and shocks. Degradation of ecosystems also affects the three core dimensions of water resource management: quantity, quality and disaster risk management.

More efficient and effective water use

Investing in policies and local institutions can lead to better governance and management of land and water resources, thereby increasing water security for rural women and men.

Better conflict resolution mechanisms and local land and water allocation systems can secure equal access and user rights for various groups. Investments in infrastructure and technology can increase water availability and lead to more efficient use.

Conservation management of catchment areas and aquifers also help achieve sustainable access to water for the rural poor.

Enhancing water security for the most vulnerable

IFAD works closely with rural communities, traders, retailers and local governments to improve the allocation and management of water resources.

In recent decades, IFAD has worked with governments to move policies and legislation toward a more integrated and participatory approach to water resource management.

IFAD also works to improve local allocation and management of land and water resources to empower poor rural people to participate in managing the  resources on which they depend.

This has included promoting broad-based water user associations and multiple use-systems. IFAD has invested in water infrastructure and more efficient technologies for agriculture, post-harvesting handling and processing, and domestic water supply.

Spotlight

How an innovative 'sand' dam is causing a rush for water in Somalia

In the sub-regions of Maaroodi-Jeex and Awdal, in the arid and semi-arid region of Somaliland, an innovative water management solution is helping small farmers stay in business despite the changing weather patterns.

Projects

Project

Haiti

Small Irrigation and Market Access Development Project in the Nippes and Goavienne Region 
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Project

Madagascar

Support Programme for the Rural Microenterprise Poles and Regional Economies (PROSPERER)
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Project

Niger

Ruwanmu Small-Scale Irrigation Project
Read More

Related news

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IFAD and Djibouti sign agreement to tackle Djiboutis problem of thirst in rural areas

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The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the Government of Djibouti today signed a financial agreement to address the serious impact of water scarcity facing Djibouti's rural people.

Combatting water scarcity is an economic decision, not a technological problem - IFAD to tell agriculture ministers

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While technologies may exist to ensure poor, developing-world farmers can access the water they need to grow enough food for their communities and countries, governments need to invest in them, said Perin Saint Ange, the Associate Vice-President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) en route to the Global Forum for Food and Agriculture (GFFA) in Berlin, Germany.

Related publications

The Marine Advantage

listopad 2017
Agriculture and fisheries, the backbone of food security and nutrition for coastal communities and globally, are under threat. Climate change and environmental
degradation in coastal areas, including Small Island Developing States, are already affecting the natural resource base on which smallholders depend for their food
security and livelihoods. Future projections outline an increasingly urgent need to help communities adapt to these changes and protect these fragile resources.
LANGUAGES: English

Scaling up note on agricultural water management

listopad 2015
Water is of fundamental importance to human development, the environment and the economy. Access to water and water security is paramount to improving food security, incomes and livelihoods of rural communities. Reliable access to water remains a major constraint for millions of poor farmers, mostly those
in rainfed areas, but also those involved in irrigated agriculture. Climate change and the resulting changing rainfall patterns pose a threat to many more farmers, who risk losing water security and slipping back into the poverty trap.The need, therefore, to strengthen the communities’ capacity to adopt and disseminate agricultural water management technologies cannot be overemphasized.

Grant Results Sheet IWMI - Mainstreaming innovations and adoption processes from the CGIAR Challenge Programme on Water and Food in IFAD’s portfolio

leden 2017
The programme supported innovation funds working directly with communities to scale up approaches in Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Ghana, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Uganda and Viet Nam.
LANGUAGES: English

Water contact

For questions please contact Mawira Chitima,

Lead Technical Specialist - Water and Rural Infrastructure,

m.chitima@ifad.org