Climate change, water and food security


Climate change, water
and food security

Hugh Turral
FAO consultant
Jacob Burke and Jean-Marc Faurès
FAO Land and Water Division

Download Full Report  -7.620kb       

Rome 2011


The impacts of climate change on the global hydrological cycle are expected to vary the patterns of demand and supply of water for agriculture the dominant user of freshwater. The extent and productivity of both irrigated and rainfed agriculture can be expected to change. As a result, the livelihoods of rural communities and the food security of a predominantly urban population are at risk from water-related impacts linked primarily to climate variability. The rural poor, who are the most vulnerable, are likely to be disproportionately affected. Adaptation measures that build upon improved land and water management practices will be fundamental in boosting overall resilience to climate change. And this is not just to maintain food security: the continued integrity of land and water systems is essential for all economic uses of water.

This report summarizes current knowledge of the anticipated impacts of climate change on water availability for agriculture and examines the implications for local and national food security. It analyses expected impact of climate change on a set of major agricultural systems at risk and makes the case for immediate implementation of no-regrets strategies which have both positive development outcomes and make agricultural systems resilient. It is hoped that policy makers and planners can use this report to frame their adaptation responses when considering both the water variable in agriculture and the competing demands from other users.


List of figures
List of tables
List of boxes
List of acronyms and abbreviations
Executive summary

   - 777kb

1. Introduction

2. Setting the scene

   - 1.796kb

3. The baseline and trends in agricultural water demand

4. Specific climate change impacts related to agricultural water management

   - 333kb

5. Prospects for adaptation

6. Prospects for mitigation

7. Conclusions and recommendations

   - 319kb


Annex 1.
Overall logic for assessing development, adaptation and mitigation
options in agricultural water management and irrigation, in response to climate change
Annex 2.
Evaluating and selecting options for climate sensitive development

   - 2.317kb

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ISBN 978-92-5- 106795-6

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© FAO 2011