Natural Resources
     and Environment

News, Publications & Announcements - Water Resources

May 2007
Guidelines and computer programs for the planning and design of land drainage systems
FAO Irrigation and Drainage Paper 62

Drainage of agricultural land is one of the most critical water management tools for the sustainability of productive cropping systems, as frequently this sustainability is extremely dependent on the control of waterlogging and soil salinization in the rootzone of most crops. On some agricultural lands, the natural drainage is sufficient to maintain high productivity. However, many others require improvements in surface and subsurface drainage in order to optimize land productivity, while maintaining the quality of soil resources. As time passes, drainage requirements may change because of changes in the general socio-economic conditions, such as input and output prices, and more intensive crop rotations. In rainfed and irrigated areas of the temperate zones (where waterlogging is the dominant problem in lands lacking natural drainage), proper drainage has improved soil aeration and land and rural road trafficability. Moreover, it has facilitated the lengthening of the potential crop growth period. In the irrigated lands of the arid and semi-arid regions (where salinity problems dominate), in addition to the benefits described above, subsurface drainage has been essential for controlling soil salinity and reducing the incidence of erratic crop yields. In the semi-humid and humid tropical regions, drainage development has been less than in the agroclimate ...

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March 2007
FAO urges action to cope with increasing water scarcity
Improving agricultural practices key

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March 2007
Access to water, pastoral resource management and pastoralists’ livelihoods: Lessons learned from water development in selected areas of Eastern Africa (Kenya, Ethiopia, Somalia)
Livelihood Support Programme Working Paper Number 26

Water development in pastoral dry lands of Africa has always been a priority for humanitarian and development agencies and for governments. However, over the last decades, experts have raised an increasing concern about its numerous adverse effects, including: environmental degradation and induced displacements involving conflicts and exclusions; enclosures and conflicting appropriation of the new water resources and the surrounding grazing areas; and an exclusion of vulnerable groups from their access to water that were previously managed as common property. This paper builds upon an initial paper which explored the interface between land and water rights “Land and water – the rights interface. LSP Working Paper 10”. It is complemented by the regional analysis publication “Land and water rights in the Sahel: Tenure challenges of improving access to water for agriculture. LSP Working Paper 25”.

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February 2007
Making every drop count
FAO heads UN water initiative

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