WASAG – Глобальная рамочная программа по преодолению дефицита воды в сельском хозяйстве

Better Environment – AWSAMe Addressing Water Scarcity for Agriculture and environment

A Value Adding Impact Area (VAIA) of ' Better Environment', one of the four Betters of the FAO Strategic Framework 2022-2031

The issue

Water crisis is among the top five crises that will have the largest impact in the next decade. Exacerbated by climate change, growing scarcity and competition for water stand as a major threat to future advances in food security and poverty alleviation with further impacts on the environment and human health, especially in rural areas. There are currently 2.3 billion people who live in water-stressed countries, of which more than 733 million people - approximately 10% of the global population- live in countries with high and critical water stress. Accounting for approximately 70% of global freshwater withdrawals, agriculture is expected to suffer the greatest impact of water scarcity. The consequences, compounded with those resulting from the impact of water scarcity on livelihoods, on ecosystems and the services that they provide could translate into a vicious circle with devastating consequences. The required actions need to be stepped up. 

FAO action

Building on the existing FAO works, namely the Global Framework on Water Scarcity in Agriculture(WASAG) and country/regional water scarcity initiatives, and lessons learned and successful experiences, and in response to requests of Member countries in the Near East, Africa, Asia/Pacific and Latin America,  the Value Adding Impact Area (VAIA)  Addressing Water Scarcity in Agriculture and the environment AWSAMe) will therefore scale-up actions aimed at:  

promoting enhanced investment, policies, governance and best practices to sustainably increase water productivity while protecting or improving biodiversity;

providing tools for strategic planning of optimal and sustainable allocation of scarce water resources taking into account  the needs of the environment; 

and implementing strategies for a water-reform agenda and supporting access to financial resources and investment.

AWSAMe will provide an overarching, integrated and multidisciplinary set of interventions from practices at field level to enhanced policies at regional and global level, as well as concurring partnerships. It addresses water scarcity through a multi-pronged approach, whereas expected actions and results reinforce each other.

Actions will focus on promoting transformational changes by expanding the wider implementation of WASAG action framework, Inter-Regional Technical Platform on Water Scarcity, and Regional Water Scarcity Initiatives and programmes for the Near East and North Africa as well as for the Regional Asia and Pacific.

AWSAMe will also works towards more resilient food systems through a combination of interventions which enhance water productivity such as through irrigation efficiency or soil moisture conservation, promote drought and salt tolerant crops, enhance nutrition and biodiversity. This will be done by combining innovation and indigenous knowledge. 

In this regard, FAO is working with CIRAD on identifying drought resilient and nutritious crops with the view of:

1. Prepare a compendium of drought resilient and nutritious crops and contributing to improved biodiversity.  

2. Conduct consultation with countries and prospective partners to agree on the crops and countries of interest.

3. Develop four proposals adopting the selected crops in identified countries across different regions.

A draft of the compendium was presented to stakeholders during a webinar which took place on 18 July 2023.

Preparations are now under way for the consultative process with countries and partners.   


Expected results

AWSAMe will promote sustainable water use for agriculture and other relevant practices without jeopardizing the sustainability and social equity with the following tangible results:

1. On data and information: in-country capacities of professionals improved on assessment of water resources availability, accounting, use and demand across all sectors.

2. On policy and investment: enabling policies established and strengthened for sustainable water management and other relevant practices in all sectors.

3. On practice: knowledge uptake facilitated through a community-of-practice, applying non-traditional techniques for differential stakeholder interests.

4. On Global and Regional Strategic collaboration and partnerships: cooperation enhanced at global and regional level, through a strengthened WASAG and Regional Initiatives.

Accelerators and cross-cutting themes

Water scarce countries, more than any other, require innovation deployment to manage limited natural resources. Innovative practices, tools and digital solutions for climate change mitigation, adaptation and resilience are key accelerators to achieving water security. Water scarcity takes the concept every drop counts” to a whole new level and prompts demand-driven and prudent management of water resources. Disaggregated and systematically collected data, whether ground-truth or geo-spatial, is another essential accelerator to amplify the gains of unit water. Enabled and effective institutions are also a precondition for equal access to resources and fair distribution under scarce conditions.

Water scarcity affects vulnerable groups disproportionately, and women are more exposed to wide-reaching consequences. Mainstreaming gender-responsive approaches into the results framework of the Initiative is an essential feature to induce a transformative process. On the other hand, combatting water scarcity is innovation-demanding, which provides entry point for harnessing the power of youth.


Through WASAG and regional partnerships, a fast-growing network has been developed counting over 70 partners. WASAG is mutating into a country-driven partnership which will host its first General Assembly in April 2024. The impact area leverages the existing network and is expected to further expand. The community-of-practice   will now be more country-driven; it currently involves government agencies, international organizations, research institutions, advocacy groups and professional organizations. The involvement of such a wide range of stakeholders is a comparative advantage of the existing WASAG technical network and regional initiatives, as the generated resources are drawn on diversified aspects.

Strategic links

AWSAME will contribute to and develop collaboration with the following PPAs in focus: BP1; BP4; BP5; BE1; BE2; BL1; BL2; BL5; BL7 and the following SDGs targets: 1.4, 1.5; 2.3, 2.4; 5.1, 5.a; 6.4, 6.5, 6.b; 13.1; 15.1; 17.6, 17.9.

Programme synergies

AWSAMe will leverage all the ongoing initiatives, expertise and experience of FAO on water scarcity and other relevant initiatives such as the FAO Drought Portal, the One Crop One Product (OCOP), the International Year of Millets (IYM) or the Vision for Adapted Crops and Soils). AWSAMe is linked to ongoing initiatives and programmes with diversified geographical focuses, including the Water Scarcity initiative in NENA region, One million cisterns for the Sahel Initiative in Sub-Saharan Africa, the Regional Water Scarcity Initiative in Asia and Pacific (a recently endorsed, 5-year Water Scarcity Programme and associated Regional Cooperative Platform), and the Quinoa Initiative. It aligns well with organizational priorities, including but not limited to the Global Programme on Sustainable Dryland Agriculture and FAO’s programme on Small Island Developing States.


Geographic focus

The FAO Strategic Framework (2022-31) highlights the vulnerability of agri-food systems, where cross-country dependencies prevail. Therefore, the AWSAMe supports countries with by-default water scarcity, and prioritizes them based on pre-existing and vulnerabilities/exposure status, such as Small Island Developing States, Low-Income Food-Deficit Countries, and Landlocked Developing Countries. Consequently, the impacts of AWSAMe can rise to new heights.

The impact area will initially focus on a number of countries in 4 regions facing water scarcity (Near East and North Africa, Africa, Latin America and the Asia and Pacific regions). This first indicative list of countries (SIDS, LDCs, land-locked countries, fragile countries) includes but is not limited to: Antigua and Barbuda, Cabo Verde, Chad, Cuba, Egypt, Eritrea, India, Jordan, Libya, Kiribati, Lebanon, North-Macedonia, Sudan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Nicaragua, Panama, Vanuatu and Viet Nam.

Experiences and results achieved in a first phase will be scaled up and expanded to further countries and regions.

A consultative process will confirm the interest of countries to be part of this first  batch, based on an initial analysis of opportunities for quick wins.


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