Spotlight on FAO’s work on water


World Water Day 2020 is an opportunity to put a spotlight on FAO’s work and research for a more sustainable use and management of water resources through a selection of titles below. 

  • World Water Development Report 2020 – Water and Climate Change 
    The World Water Development Report is the UN-Water flagship report on water. This yearly report, published by UNESCO/UN-Water, aims at informing the water and climate community about the challenges, opportunities and potential responses to climate change through water. FAO contributed to the report with expertise on agriculture and food security.
  • Land and water governance to achieve the SDGs in fragile systems
    This paper demonstrates how land and water governance, through the adoption of an open dialogue with the public and the use of non-discriminatory regulations, can help improve the resilience of fragile environments where water scarcity and land degradation threaten sustainable development.
  • Change in water-use efficiency over time: Analysis and interpretation of preliminary results in key regions and countries.
    This paper gives indications on the interpretation of the data of the SDG indicator 6.4.1. The analysis of both developed and developing countries shows an inverted U-shape relationship between water-use and economic growth. As per capita GDP increases, water-use per capita tends to decrease, thanks to a mix of technical, managerial and institutional developments resulting in an increase in water-use efficiency.
  • Field guide and policy guide to improve water-use efficiency in small-scale agriculture the case of Burkina Faso, Morocco and Uganda
    These guides, based on case studies, provide practical measures and real-term applications as well as policy recommendations to improve water use efficiency including when and how often to irrigate based on water use records. A field guide to improve crop water productivity in small-scale agriculture in the countries analysed is also forthcoming.
  • The Right to Water for Food and Agriculture 
    This report calls for a human rights-based approach to water governance. Recognizing the human right to water, for drinking and household needs as well as for growing food, has implications for water allocation and sets limits for other types of uses. It also means taking into account important principles such as non-discrimination and the rights of indigenous peoples. 

Further reading


  • Accounting for livestock water productivity: How and why?

Still thirsty for knowledge? Check the latest issue of the FAO publications catalogue.