Water Adaptation Community Webinar: Climate Adaptation in Agriculture: Water for Food Security


6 April 2022, 9:30 CEST

This webinar session highlighted the linkages between water and food security and showcases performing leads in addressing water security through improved water management

Event description:

The grand quest of securing water for agriculture is central to addressing global food security . Globally, agriculture accounts for about 70% of total water use, while other sectoral demands are increasing sharply from all fronts ranging from water for industrial uses, to drinking water supply and water for ecosystems, and more. The need for rethinking and redesigning agriculture, especially in drylands and other drought-prone areas, is increasingly urgent for many world regions. Furthermore, inefficient irrigation now represents a looming risk of maladaptation, where irrigated areas and crop production are pushed forward at the high costs of exacerbated water pressure for other sectors and regions. From the water side, balancing competing water demands requires solutions beyond the business-as-usual model and reach out to other sectors, including agriculture.

At the same time, water-related risk management (e.g., floods and droughts) can benefit from improved agriculture practices. There are growing interests in solutions in agricultural soil and water management to benefit climate resilience and adaptation.

This webinar session highlighted the linkages between water and food security and showcased performing leads in addressing water security through improved water management. In this context, the presentation and panel discussion focused on topics of upscaling and accelerating good practices (e.g., rainwater harvesting, efficient irrigation, etc.), rights to water, and leveraging community-based resource management in intertwined water and food systems.

Key questions addressed

  • What is the current state of agriculture and food security and how has this been exacerbated by climate change impacts?
  • What are good practices for building climate resilience and food security in the water management domain? 
  • How can agriculture activities contribute to climate resilience and climate adaptation, with a focus on water-related risks such as floods and droughts?
  • What financial and institutional mechanisms support nations and communities to sustainably manage water for food?
  • What are the roles of communities and locally-led initiatives in securing water for food under climate change? 

Chair: Ede Ijjasz-Vasquez, Senior Advisor, Africa, GCA
9:30-9:35 Welcome address by Oluyede Ajayi, Africa Program Lead, Food Security and Rural Well Being, GCA 
9:35-9:45 Current state of agriculture and food security in relation to climate change impact in the African context, Prof. Ian Noble, Senior Advisor, GCA 
9:45-9:55 Groundwater-related aspects of food security – What are the issues and possible solutions? Dr. Karen Villholth, Principal Researcher, Coordinator, Groundwater, IWMI (International Water Management Institute) 
9:55-10:05 Urban agriculture: good practices for building climate and water resilience, Mr. Samuel Thiong’o Mazingira Institute, Kenya & RUAF global partnership on sustainable urban agriculture and food systems.  
10:05-10:15 Leveraging water efficient and climate friendly practices in agriculture for adaptation, Mr. Macpherson Nthara Malawi flood-based livelihood network, and the Malawi rainwater harvesting association 
10:15-11:00 Panel Discussion moderated by Ede Ijjasz with the four speakers

Key questions for the discussion:

  • What is needed to drive and scale up solutions to secure water for agriculture and food security?
  • What are the transformative solutions in agri-food systems to benefit water resources and climate resilience? Transformation in agri-food systems including land management practices, new arrangements for water allocation, stewardship role of farmers for carbon sequestration and water retention, among others.
  • What are the policy and governance requirements? Policy gaps and hurdles, role of self-organizing and locally led initiatives, roles of women and how to be inclusive in securing water for food production