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Part of OECD Water Resources and Sanitation Set - Buy all four reports and save over 30% on buying separately!

Agriculture is the major user of water in most countries. It also faces the enormous challenge of producing almost 50% more food by 2030 and doubling production by 2050. This will likely need to be achieved with less water, mainly because of growing pressures from urbanisation, industrialisation and climate change. In this context, it will be important in future for farmers to receive the right signals to increase water use efficiency and improve agricultural water management, while preserving aquatic ecosystems. 

This report calls on policy makers to recognise the complexity and diversity of water resource management in agriculture and the wide range of issues at stake. And it gives them the tools to do so, offering a wealth of information on recent trends and the outlook for water resource use in agriculture, including the impacts of climate change. It examines the policy experiences of OECD countries in managing their water resources for agriculture, with focus on: the extent to which countries subsidise the supply of water to farmers; flood and drought risk policies; and institutional organisation and governance as it relates to water and the agricultural sector. The report offers concrete recommendations on what countries should be doing and why.

The analysis is supported by data from an OECD questionnaire about agricultural water resource management and by background reports on: 

  • Agricultural water pricing in Australia, the European Union, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Turkey and the United States 
  • Financing water management and infrastructure related to agriculture 
  • Policy issues concerning agriculture’s role in flood adaptation and mitigation
  • Experiences and lessons from the Australian water reform programme 
  • Economic analysis of the virtual water and water footprint concepts in relation to the agri-food sector

The questionnaire and reports can be accessed at www.sourceoecd.org, as well as at www.oecd.org/agr/env and www.oecd.org/water.

Co-Published with the OECD

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