Currently in its second phase, WaPOR 2, the project builds on the efforts and accomplishments that were obtained in the first phase, WaPOR 1, which ended in January 2021.
Agriculture being a key water user, careful monitoring of water productivity in this sector and exploring opportunities to increase it are imperative measures to counter the increased pressure that it puts on water resources. Yet, that is not an easy task and it can be quite data-intensive, requiring timely and reliable information on the condition and water consumption of irrigated and rainfed food crops. Sound water management also has a central role to play in this; informed by reliable data, it can help build resilience in the face of increased risks to and demands on our food systems.
But how can we monitor the performance of water use in agriculture?
WaPOR, FAO’s portal to monitor WAter Productivity through Open-access of Remotely sensed derived data, assists countries in monitoring water productivity, identifying water productivity gaps, proposing solutions to reduce these gaps and contributing to a sustainable increase of agricultural production. At the same time, it takes into account ecosystems and the equitable use of water resources, which should eventually lead to an overall reduction of water stress.
The first phase of the WaPOR project ran from 2016 to the end of 2020 and paved the way to the now ongoing second phase of the project with its major output which was the development of the database and portal that today constitute the backbone of the project, as well as some applications for the data.
- The development of a portal to monitor Water Productivity through Open-access of Remotely sensed derived data (WaPOR). This portal covers Africa and the Near East, with remotely sensed data, to monitor, in near real time, agricultural water and land productivity as well carbon dioxide uptake by vegetation.
- An assessment, in space and time, of agricultural water and land productivity, productivity gaps and capacity development to close these gaps.
- An assessment, through water accounting, of the consequences and sustainability of possible increases in water productivity in agriculture.
- Capacity development of stakeholders to increase water productivity in a sustainable manner.