Please note that this implementation brief applies to the 2013 USAID Water and Development Strategy, which has been replaced by the 2017 U.S. Government Global Water Strategy and USAID Water and Development Plan. Click here for more information.
Meeting the second Strategic Objective of the USAID Water and Development Strategy – enhancing food security through the sustainable and more productive management of water in agriculture – is critically urgent. Globally, agriculture accounts for the majority of freshwater withdrawals, with some water sources being drawn down faster than they are being replenished – and the push to exploit more water for food security in the face of a changing and more variable climate is increasing. In this Implementation Brief we present strategic approaches to improving agricultural water management (AWM) to increase both water resource and project outcome sustainability. To help USAID staff and their partners identify and implement best-fit AWM practices for particular sociocultural, market, and environmental contexts, we present a simple guide for conducting a Water Resource Sustainability Assessment (WRSA) for agricultural activities.