Water For Food

Water for Food—Strategic Objective 2 (SO2) in USAID’s Water and Development Strategy (2013-2018)—seeks to manage water for agriculture sustainably and more productively to enhance food security. The Agency’s measures of success include increasing water-use efficiency and productivity in both rainfed and irrigated areas that will improve water management for agriculture for 2 million people by 2018.

With population growth and climate change poised to continue reshaping our planet throughout the 21st century, meeting SO2 is critically urgent. Globally, agriculture accounts for the majority of freshwater withdrawals, and some water sources are being drawn down faster than they are being replenished. Through initiatives such as Securing Water for Food, USAID and its partners in the global development community are identifying and implementing new approaches to boost agricultural productivity in an environmentally sustainable manner to meet the increasing food demands of a growing global population.

Focus Areas

Agricultural water management (AWM) seeks to use water in a way that provides crops and animals the amount of water they need, enhances productivity, and conserves natural resources for the benefit of downstream users and ecosystem services. Why Agricultural Water Management Matters Although AWM includes irrigation, it is not simply about applying water. It includes soil, land, and ecosystem conservation practices, such as drainage and watershed management; fisheries management; and...