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Viraphong Viravong on HP 2’56-4’33 Tonle Sap & fisheries 22’20-24’07
The Challenge Program on Water and Food (CPWF) of the CGIAR has analyzed poverty-water relationships on 10 river basins including: the Andes and São Francisco in South America; the Limpopo, Niger, Nile and Volta basins in Africa; and the Ganges, Indus, Karkheh, Mekong, and Yellow in Asia. These basins – distinct and gargantuan geographic areas defined by water flows from high-ground to streams that feed major river systems – cover 13.5 million square kilometers and are home to some 1.5 billion people, and half of the world ’ s poorest .
The conclusions are just amazing: water scarcity is not affecting our ability to grow enough food today and tomorrow . Yet there is scarcity in certain areas, but our findings show that the problem overall is a failure to make efficient and fair use of the water available in these river basins. This is ultimately an institutional and political challenge, not a resource concern .
Comparing the performance of agricultural systems between river basins, based on the production in kg per m 3 of water consumed or water productivity . With few exceptions, water productivity of cereals is very low (between 0.2 and 0.5 kg/m 3 ). Efficient farmers achieve water productivity of 2.0 kg/m 3 , but in most basins it is only a fraction of this level.
Huge potential to continue to increase production in areas where levels are currently low, if proper access to water and markets is given to communities. This, in turn, could create the right incentives for 'sustainable intensification ’ . There is a need to go beyond concepts of 'transfers', such as Payment for Environmental Service schemes, to more nuanced agreements that promote collaboration and 'win-win' situations where benefits are shared between different groups. Benefits (and risks) need to be shared in order for all of the diverse actor groups that make up society to be able to develop. While globally there is enough water to sustain human development and environmental needs, water-related conflicts will continue if we do not manage our resources well. A radical reform of how water is managed and used is necessary. This includes reform of the institutions that govern water resources . For the most part, there is a complete fragmentation of how water is managed amongst different actors, and even countries, where the water needs of different sectors—agriculture, industry, environment, mining—are considered separately, rather than as interrelated and interdependent. Institutions must develop a holistic approach to address the issues of unequal development that lead to unequal sharing of resources and benefits.