The international workshop, “Going beyond Agricultural Water Productivity,” will take place at the World Bank Main Complex in Washington, D.C. on December 8-9, 2014. It is co-organized by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service (USDA/ERS), the International Water Management Institute (IWMI), and the World Bank Group (WBG), including the Agriculture and Water Global Practices.
With growing water scarcity in many parts of the world and projections indicating the need to increase agricultural production—and, associated with that, agricultural water use— it is often recommended that efforts should focus on improving “agricultural water productivity.” Significant public and private investments are being made with this goal in mind.
However, the term “agricultural water productivity” is often used quite vaguely, and there is little systematic discussion on the instruments for improving water productivity and/or efficiency in agriculture. The topic is complex, in part, because of the unique characteristics of water, such as the various externalities associated with return flows. Another reason is the inherent interdisciplinary nature of the topic, involving hydrology and hydrogeology, civil and irrigation engineering, agronomy and crop physiology, as well as economics. Each discipline tends to have a different focus, using different concepts and methodological approaches, and suggesting different instruments and policies.
New initiatives are needed to facilitate more in-depth discussions and exchanges among the disciplines, involving both researchers and others that advise on policies and investments. The aim of the workshop is to reach more clarity -- and possibly a more integrative view -- on "agricultural water productivity" and, most likely, broader approaches to help address rising water and food security concerns.
The workshop will bring together leading experts with different disciplinary backgrounds, and span over two days with seven sessions. The session topics will include:
- Why Focus on Agricultural Water Productivity?
- Interventions, Adaptations, and Unintended Consequences
- Tackling the Complexities: Insights from Key Disciplines
- Agricultural Water Productivity and Beyond: Economic Approaches
- Data Issues and Indicators
- Going Forward: Conceptual and Data Issues
- Going Forward: Policy Implications
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Last Updated: Dec 09, 2014