Supporting integrated water resources management through evidence-based decisions

©FAO/Fredrik Lerneryd

01/06/2020 - 

On May 4 the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) signed a Memorandum of Understanding with IHE Delft Institute for Water Education (IHE Delft) with the main objective of developing a range of activities to strengthen and mobilize an educational and knowledge base for integrated water resources management. The collaboration between the two organizations is not new, as in 2014 a previous partnership agreement was signed to formalize the relationship.

In this regard, FAO’s technical officer Jippe Hoogeveen, highlighted the importance of the strategic collaboration with IHE Delft “we are very happy to intensify our existing collaboration with IHE-Delft. Already we have on-going joint activities organized from FAO Headquarters, FAO’s regional offices in Cairo and Bangkok, and over 20 countries. And we are looking forward to expand it further”.

Based in Delft, the Netherlands, IHE Delft has an outstanding reputation, as it is considered the largest international graduate water education facility in the world. Among others, the Institute provides key services related to education, training, scientific research and capacity development which complement FAO’s expertise.

Dr Marloes Mul, IHE Delft’s Senior lecturer, stated that “FAO is an important partner for IHE Delft on water issues, this MoU solidifies our long standing collaboration in water accounting and water productivity using Remote Sensing, and in particular the WaPOR database, aiming to improve food security and livelihoods while maintaining the environment”.

Through this consolidated partnership, IHE Delft reinforces its position as one of the main partners in FAO’s initiative to monitor Water Productivity through Open Access of Remotely Sensed data (WaPOR). By leveraging on each other’s comparative advantages, the renewed collaboration will initially focus on technical and scientific exchange, capacity development and the development of at least two joint projects. The goal of these is to support evidence-based decision making on topics such as agricultural water management policies, water accounting and auditing, assessment and reduction of land and water productivity gaps, irrigation and modernization.

By linking research with practice, activities are planned to organize and present information related to the hydrological cycle and the current status and trends in both water supply and demand, including issues associated with accessibility, uncertainty, economic value and governance.

Furthermore, the identification, mapping and monitoring of variability in land and water productivity in different cropping systems will be undertaken, by using remote sensing methods to contribute to assessing potential strategies, with the aim of increasing agricultural production, while taking into account ecosystems and equitable use of water resources.