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FAO Water Scarcity Program (WSP) for Asia-Pacific











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    Book (stand-alone)
    Managing water scarcity in Asia and the Pacific - A summary
    Trends, experiences and recommendations for a resilient future
    2023
    In the Asia–Pacific region, water resources form the basis of agrarian prosperity and economic development. However, increasing water demand due to population growth, rapid industrialisation and urbanisation, and a changing climate undermine those water resources. Like many parts of the world, Asia–Pacific faces increasing water scarcity, with varying characteristics, causes and trends across a diverse range of countries at different stages of development. Understanding of the spatial and temporal differences in water scarcity across the region is, however, limited, and while policies and management strategies are under development in all countries, their effectiveness varies significantly. Responses to water scarcity are often reacting to acute issues such as drought or conflicts between competing water users; while regional and national level policies exist in most cases, they often lack subsidiary legislation, program development or the resources needed for successful implementation. The main objective of the present study was to develop an understanding of the dynamics of water scarcity across Asia–Pacific and how countries manage that scarcity—ultimately informing more effective management approaches that can be scaled across the region.
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    Meeting
    Addressing rising water scarcity in agriculture: introducing a new FAO Water Scarcity Programme and associated Regional Cooperative Platform
    Thirty-sixth Session of the FAO Regional Conference for Asia and the Pacific (APRC 36)
    2022
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    At the 2020 Regional Conference for Asia and the Pacific (APRC35), FAO presented a technical paper titled Setting regional priorities to manage water for agriculture under conditions of water scarcity. The technical paper, and the proposal for a new Water Scarcity Programme contained within it, were widely endorsed by the 35th Regional Conference. This information document serves to provide an update on the follow up actions taken in response to APRC35 recommendations. It provides an overview of the five-year Water Scarcity Programme (WSP) for Asia and the Pacific region and progress made in its development. The WSP has now been developed in detail and is designed to support FAO Members in taking practical steps to address and manage water scarcity in a changing climate. The WSP is based on extensive scoping activities that FAO carried out between 2019 and 2021. It is a consultative document designed to allow the Regional Conference to provide inputs and comments for improvement.
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    Project
    Support to The Regional Collaboration Platform of the Water Scarcity Initiative to Increase Water Productivity - TCP/RAB/3602 2020
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    The Near East and North Africa (NENA) region is among the areas worst affected by chronic water shortages and, in coming decades, is likely to be faced by the most severe intensification of water scarcity in history. Per capita fresh water availability has decreased by two-thirds over the last forty years and is forecast to decrease by a further 50 percent by 2050. Demographic growth, a tendency to increase food self-sufficiency to reduce vulnerability to imports, price volatility, expanding urbanization, energy demands and overall socio-economic development, exacerbated by the negative impact of climate change and the degradation of water quality, are the main causes behind this intensification of scarcity. Agriculture, which consumes over 85 percent of available fresh water resources in the region, will most likely have to absorb the bulk of this shock, with major consequences for food security and the rural economy. Countries in the region thus need to plan their water resources allocation strategically and to review their water policies to ensure that the best use is made of the water available. To this end, it is essential to quantify the productivity of water use in agriculture. In response to the growing needs of member countries and to help them cope with this enormous challenge, FAO and partners launched in 2013 the Regional Water Scarcity Initiative in the Near East and North Africa. The first output of the Initiative was a Regional Collaborative Strategy (RCS) on Sustainable Agricultural Water Management. This represents a framework to assist countries in identifying and streamlining policies, governance and practice that can sustainably improve agricultural productivity and food security in the region. The overall aim of the project was to support the RCS by enhancing information and experience exchange in the region, by strengthening countries’ capacities to increase water productivity in selected farming systems, and by establishing the capacity to monitor water productivity via remote sensing (RS). The immediate objectives of the project included an updated architecture of RS-based monitoring systems in the project countries, and a standardized assessment of the water productivity of the major crop systems in each country, followed by an identification of good practices and affordable technologies for the increase of water productivity at farm level.

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