This is a previous project site under CGIAR Research Program on Water, Land and Ecosystems (WLE). For more information and current updates, visit the WLE website.

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Initially,  CPWF assumed an unfolding global crisis of water scarcity, a close link between water scarcity and poverty, and an overriding need to produce more food with less water. Through its research, the program found that things are a bit more complicated:

  • Water is usually not physically scarce. While water in lakes, streams and canals can be locally scarce, rainwater is often relatively abundant but under-utilized in agriculture.
  • Poverty is not strongly correlated with water scarcity. Poverty is associated with the position of a country in its development trajectory regardless of water availability.
  • Water productivity is useful as a diagnostic tool but has limited value as a standalone objective.
  • Water is often a good entry point to address development challenges in basins. A research-for-development approach can be effective in addressing such challenges and getting to outcomes.
  • Sustainable intensification of agriculture can improve livelihoods and reduce poverty. Achieving it, however, usually means combining technical, institutional and policy innovations.
  • Benefit sharing mechanisms and multiple use systems are just two of the areas where the CPWF has had success in introducing innovations and achieving outcomes.

Browse the research topics below to learn more.