Agriculture is the major user of water in most countries. It also faces the enormous challenge of producing almost 50% more food by 2030 and doubling production by 2050. This will likely need to be achieved with less water, mainly because of growing pressures from urbanisation, industrialisation and climate change. In this context, it will be important in future for farmers to receive the right signals to increase water use efficiency and improve agricultural water management, while preserving aquatic ecosystems.
This report calls on policy makers to recognise the complexity and diversity of water resource management in agriculture and the wide range of issues at stake. And it gives them the tools to do so, offering a wealth of information on recent trends and the outlook for water resource use in agriculture, including the impacts of climate change. It examines the policy experiences of OECD countries in managing their water resources for agriculture, with focus on: the extent to which countries subsidise the supply of water to farmers; flood and drought risk policies; and institutional organisation and governance as it relates to water and the agricultural sector. The report offers concrete recommendations on what countries should be doing and why.
Table of contents:
- Executive Summary - Summary and Recommendations - Introduction - Setting the Scene - Hydrology and Economics of Water Resource Management in Agriculture - Recent Trends and Outlook for Water Resources in Agriculture - OECD Countries’ Policy Experiences - Bibliography - An Economic Analysis of the Virtual Water Concept in relation to the Agri-food Sector - Agriculture's Role in Flood Adaptation and Mitigation - Policy Issues and Approaches - Environmental Effectiveness and Economic Efficiency of Water Use in Agriculture - The Experience of and Lessons from the Australian Water Reform Programme - Financing Water Management and Infrastructure related to Agriculture across OECD Countries - Agricultural Water Pricing - EU and Mexico - Agricultural Water Pricing - Japan and Korea - Agricultural Water Pricing - Turkey - Agricultural Water Pricing - Australia - Agricultural Water Pricing - United States