FAO.org

Home > Land & Water > Overview > WASAG - Global Framework on water scarcity in agriculture > Working Groups
Land & Water

WASAG Working Groups

WASAG currently focuses its work on the following six areas/six working groups:

Water and migration

Water scarcity and droughts, which result in the decline of smallholder agricultural production, can accelerate or amplify forced migration. People in rural areas must have the choice to remain where they live rather than to be forced to move due to the impossibility of sustaining their livelihoods. Providing alternatives to migration includes creating stronger rural communities that are more resilient to water stress and other environmental and non-environmental risks, as well as investing in local diversification.

Members of the working group contributed significantly to the following publications that serve the objectives of the working group:

Drought preparedness

Droughts have affected more people worldwide in the last 40 years than any other natural hazard. They are expected to further increase in frequency, severity, duration and spatial extent, affecting family farmers living in rural areas who depend on agriculture for their livelihood. Managing droughts by reducing risk and increasing the capacity of rural communities to cope with is key to prevent droughts from turning into famines.

Water and nutrition

Each drop of water used for agriculture should also contribute to produce more nutritious food, providing a healthy and balanced diet. Water management strategies in the face of climate change should increase food productivity while decreasing malnutrition. Introducing irrigation to rainfed crops during dry spells gives farmers the possibility to grow new crop varieties. This contributes to diversify and expand availability of more nutritious food that can positively impact food security and nutrition.

Financial mechanisms

Opening opportunities for smallholder farmers to become more resilient in a changing climate requires more investments to improve access to water and manage water in a more efficient way. It is key to facilitate farmers’ access to innovative financing mechanisms to boost these investments. Such mechanisms include new funds targeting climate change adaptation and mitigation, co-financing and the provision of insurance or guarantees by financial institutions.

Members of the working group (some of whom are also members of the working group on sustainable agriculture water use) contributed significantly to the following publications that serve the objectives of the working group:

Sustainable agricultural water use

Sustainable management of water in agriculture is critical to increase agricultural production. There is an urgent need to improve water use efficiency. This is not only about ”more crop per drop”, but also about ensuring that the water savings are used effectively at farm, catchment, national or transboundary levels, taking into account a fair allocation among other competing sectors - domestic needs, industries, energy -, as well as the environmental flow requirements.

Members of the working group contributed significantly to the following publications that serve the objectives of the working group:

Saline agriculture

With sea level rise due to climate change, salinity intrusion will increase and affect not only agricultural production, but also the living conditions of farmers, the quality of natural resources and the whole ecosystems. It is therefore important to support innovative and sustainable food production systems in increasingly saline soil and water environments.