Saturday, June 18, 2011

FAO calls for better monitoring of water use

Carol Campbell in Developing countries are failing to account for where water is going, how it is being used and how much of it remains, according to a major report by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). The report, 'Climate change, water and food security', published earlier this month (9 June), aims to sum up current scientific understanding of the impacts of climate change on agriculture and agricultural water management, and to highlight knowledge gaps.

"Water accounting in most developing countries is very limited, and allocation procedures are non-existent, ad hoc or poorly developed," the report said. "Acquiring good water accounting practices (hydrological analysis of water resource availability and actual use) and developing robust and flexible water allocation systems will be a first priority [for adaptation]."

Such data would help more accurate forecasting of droughts and floods. Although forecasting technologies are commercially available in some developed countries, their quality, as well as their communication and understanding among farmers, must improve if farmers are to better adapt to climate change and reap the benefits, the report says…

A water meter in Austria, shot by Clemens Pfeiffer, Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution 1.0 Generic license

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