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
Currently, more than 1.5 billion people live with water shortages for at least part of the year. Those water shortages often threaten their farms, livelihoods, and families.
Picture a rural household in Kisumu, Kenya. Kale, cowpeas, tomatoes, and butternut grow in a kitchen garden fed by a drip irrigation system. Family members harvest these vegetables for the stew that complements their diet, formerly reliant on maize and sorghum. Handwashing stations adjacent to the cooking hut and the improved latrine remind everyone to wash with soap at critical times. Thanks to a new community solar-powered borehole, the family is no longer solely dependent on what the rain provides for drinking water.
Catholic Relief Services (CRS) Malawi began implementation of the Wellness and Agriculture for Life Advancement (WALA) program in July 2009, with an ending date of June 2014. This five-year USAID-funded PL480 Title II program is through Food for Peace (FFP) and implemented in the eight most food insecure districts in the south of Malawi. WALA is implemented by a consortium of nine Private Voluntary Organizations (PVOs) led by CRS Malawi as the grant holder.
Since 2014, PCI has led the Njira project, a $30 million USAID-funded initiative to address the underlying causes of food security in the Balaka and Machinga districts of Malawi. In 2016, Njira reached over 107,000 individuals through a tailored approach that improves agriculture, agribusiness, health, nutrition and disaster preparedness within vulnerable communities. Community Complementary Feeding and Learning Sessions (CCFLS) are one of Njira’s hallmark approaches to improving the health of children under five years of age.
CDM Smith was contracted by USAID/Tanzania to implement this project which supports the objectives of the Feed the Future (FtF) Initiative. FtF is a US Government effort which aims to address the root causes of global hunger by sustainably increasing agricultural productivity to meet the demand for food, supporting and facilitating access to strong markets, increasing incomes for the poor so they can meet their food and other needs, and reducing under-nutrition.
Located in Central Asia, Tajikistan is a post-conflict, post-Soviet country with significant food security needs: 10.4 percent of the population in the Feed the Future target region lives on less than $1.25 a day, and many women and children are undernourished.
The KISAN project, part of USAID’s global Feed the Future (FTF) initiative, is a $20 million five-year program working to advance food security objectives by increasing agricultural productivity. Nepal was one of 19 countries chosen for the Presidential FTF Initiative in 2010. KISAN builds the capacity of private sector and community based organizations to improve the availability of quality farm inputs; increase access to credit, extension and other services; and improve the competitiveness and efficiency of processors and other buyers.
The Gomal Zam Irrigation Project is working to provide flood control and a year-round supply of irrigation water in the Tank and Dera Ismail Khan (D.I.Khan) Districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP). Through this project, USAID is funding the construction of an irrigation and drainage system downstream from the Gomal Zam Dam situated in South Waziristan. When completed, the irrigation system will provide nearly 325,000 acre-feet of water annually to irrigate 191,000 acres of farm land in KP.