Programme  SSc1 Challenge Program on Water and Food: water, agriculture and poverty alleviation in basin focal projects (Part 1)
Date Begin End Translation Type Room
2008-09-0214:0015:30yesspecial session Pasteur

SSc1 Challenge Program on Water and Food: water, agriculture and poverty alleviation in basin focal projects (Part 1)

Organised by: CGIAR - Challenge Programme on Water and Food

Coordinator: Simon COOK, CPWF, Colombo (

Contact: Jacques LEMOALLE, IRD, Montpellier (

Chairman: Asit Biswas

Evidence is now clear of an emerging global water and food ‘squeeze’. Population is growing, with 30% more people projected to inhabit the earth than in 2000. Food production – currently the largest consumer, will demand more of the world’s freshwater to feed this increased population, coincident with increased demand from non-agricultural uses such as direction consumption, sanitation, industrial and hydropower. Above all of this, there is a growing realization of the importance of preserving environmental flows to maintain vital river functions. Against this backdrop was initiated the CGIAR Challenge Program for Water and Food. With a catchy by-line of ‘More Crop Per Drop’ (later expanded), this program commissioned projects in nine of the major river basins in the World, to develop opportunities for poverty alleviation through improved agricultural water management.
But what separates science from rhetoric? While the global imperative remains clear, it is not clear what links people to food and water, for a specific basin or household. Analysis must clarify these specific linkages in order to guide interventions that realistically promise poverty alleviation. This is the purpose of the Basin Focal Projects, which are reported in the proposed special session of the World Water Congress.
Basin focal projects deploy teams from advanced research institutes and basin institutes to provide state-of-the-art analysis to address four questions:
  • How are water, food and poverty related? How does better agricultural water management improve livelihoods?
  • How to link global problem to specific actions? How do global processes map out locally? How can local change solve a global problem?
  • River basin function: does it matter? How do basin processes affect people? Who manages or controls river basin functions?
  • How do individual projects lead towards global change? What potential impact of projects? What public goods can research generate?
Using examples from the Andes, Indo-Ganges, Karkheh, Limpopo, Mekong, Niger, Nile, Sao Francisco, Volta and Yellow river basins, the session will present detailed insight of specific aspects of the global food and water problem. The session promises detailed yet comprehensive insight of the global food and water problem. The papers in this session, and the broader range of BFP findings on which they are based, demonstrate that the notion of a “water and food crisis” must be defined very differently in different basins, and even in different parts of the same basin. The concept of “more crop per drop”, while vivid and useful, must be interpreted and operationalized to fit local circumstances.

  • Water, food and development: The CGIAR Challenge Program for Water and Food (CPWF). – Authors: Jonathan Woolley*, Simon Cook, David Molden, Larry Harrington
  • Water, poverty and inland fisheries: Some lessons from Africa and Asia. – Authors: Christophe Béné and Richard Friend*
  • Water and agricultural productivity in the lower Mekong Basin: Trends and future prospects. - Authors: Mac Kirby* and Mohammed Mainuddin
  • Water, politics, and river basin governance: Repoliticizing approaches to river basin management. – Author: François Molle*
  • Conflits agriculteurs - éleveurs et gouvernance de l’eau en zone semi-aride africaine. – Author: Jean-Charles Clanet*
  • Cross-basin comparisons of water use, water scarcity and their impact on livelihoods: present and future. – Authors: Larry Harrington*, Simon Cook, Jacques Lemoalle, Mac Kirby, Clare Taylor and Jonathan Woolley
  • Mapping basin level water productivity using remote sensing and secondary data in the Karkheh River basin, Iran. – Authors: Mobin-ud-Din Ahmad, Md. Aminul Islam, Ilyas Masih*, Lal Muthuwatta, Poolad Karimi, Hugh Turral
  • Poverty, agriculture and water. – Authors: Simon Cook*, Myles Fisher, Meike Andersson, Jorge Rubiano and Mark Giordano
  • Assessing agriculture-water links at basin scale: A hydro-economic model of the São Francisco River basin, Brazil. – Authors: Marco Maneta, Marcelo Torres, Stephen A. Vosti*, Wesley W. Wallender, Summer Allen, Luís H. Bassoi, Lisa Bennett, Richard Howitt, Lineu Rodrigues and Julie Young
  • Yields and water productivity of rainfed grain crops in the Volta basin (West Africa). – Authors: Isabelle Terrasson, Myles Fisher, Winston Andah and Jacques Lemoalle*

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