Water Productivity Improvement in Practice

WaterPIP Publications

Journal articles


Food Security under Water Scarcity: a comparative analysis of Egypt and Jordan

This paper analyses how the application of the global trade and self-sufficiency food security strategies under water scarcity have evolved in Egypt and Jordan before, during and after the 2008 world food price crisis. 


Operational framework to predict field level crop biomass using remote sensing and data driven models

An operational framework was developed to predict field crop biomass using high resolution multi-source satellite data. Five regression algorithms were tested to assess their suitability to predict field scale sugarcane biomass production in the Wonji-Shoa estate, Ethiopia. The results showed that linear regression models outperformed non-linear machine learning models with 89% accuracy achieved 4 months before harvest. The full paper can be accessed here .


Translating open-source remote sensing data to crop water productivity improvement actions

This study presents a framework to translate RS based WP data to actionable information. Six factors (crop water stress, irrigation uniformity, soil salinity, nitrogen application, crop rotation and soil type) derived from RS were analysed to identify their influence on WP and yield. Such information with regard to WP factors assists practitioners to identify priority areas and actions aiming at crop field level WP improvement. Read more here.


A Framework for Irrigation Performance Assessment Using WaPOR data: The case of a Sugarcane Estate in Mozambique

This study presents a framework that applies WaPOR data to assess irrigation performance indicators including uniformity, equity, adequacy and land and water productivity differentiated by irrigation method (furrow, sprinkler and centre pivot) at the Xinavane sugarcane estate, Mozambique. You can view the  article on the HESS webpage.

Project reports

Knowledge Hubs and Service Centre case study reports


We are slowly releasing briefs and reports on the case studies implemented by the WaterPIP knowledge hubs and service centres. Currently available:

Irrigation performance assessment Abadiska and UAAIE irrigation scheme, Ethiopia - ECDSWCo

Monitoring Irish Potato Production, Nyandarua County, Kenya - JKUAT

Land and water productivity for maize crop, Galana Kulalu, Kenya - JKUAT

More will follow soon.


Trends in water consumption, production and water productivity in IsDB member countries

This report provides an overview of changes in agricultural indicators from 2009 to 2020 in a selection of Islamic Development Bank member countries. The data can also be viewed interactively in Google Earth Engine. The data includes the following agricultural indicators: actual evapotranspiration and interception (AETI), total biomass production, gross biomass water productivity, reference evapotranspiration (RefET), precipitation (P), AETI/RefET and AETI/P over irrigated or rainfed areas.


Compendium of approaches to improve Water Productivity

This compendium focusses mainly on interventions that improve the biophysical water productivity. While the focus is on improving water productivity, it also includes interventions that improve land productivity and the water use efficiency as they go hand in hand. The document can be found here. The interactive website can be found here.


Standardized protocol for diagnostic analysis for water productivity variations

This protocol focuses on analyses that can be conducted to explain the reasons behind spatial and temporal biophysical water productivity (BWP) variations. The first aim of this protocol is to delineate the agronomic principles that affect water productivity (section 2). Second, this protocol aims to show how to make use of various existing tools that can provide diagnostic insights (section 3). The report can be found here, as well as the supporting excel files for field surveys and data collection for Aquacrop.


Standardized Protocol for Land and Water Productivity Analyses using WaPOR

This standardized protocol provides Python scripts which can be used to calculate land and water productivity and other performance indicators such as uniformity, efficiency (beneficial fraction), adequacy, relative water deficit as well as estimating productivity gaps. Go to the Github repository to view and download the Jupyter Notebooks with the protocol. For a short overview of the protocol check this two-page brief.


Case Study: Xinavane, Mozambique

The objective of this case study was to provide insight on how to improve agricultural water management to increase agricultural yield while maintaining factory production in the Xinavane sugarcane estate. This was done by analysing the spatiotemporal variability in water productivity, land productivity, and other irrigation performance indicators for different irrigation methods. In addition, the impacts of increasing water productivity to a target value ("closing the productivity gap") is assessed.

Learn more about this case study in our 2-pager or read the full report.


Case Study: Cropmon, Kenya

The objective of this case study is threefold: first, to shed light onto the agronomic factors that affect yield production and water productivity using AquaCrop simulations; second, to facilitate a comparison between the results of AquaCrop and those of WaPOR; and third, to investigate possible causes of discrepancies between WaPOR and AquaCrop results. This was done by conducting AquaCrop simulations and WaPOR analyses on 5 farms in Kenya and comparing the results. Water productivity related indicators (including yield, biomass production, and water consumption, among others) were obtained.

Learn more about this case study in our full report.


Case Study: Wonji, Ethiopia

The main objective of this study was to provide insight into water and land productivity, and irrigation performance at the Wonji-Show Sugar Plantation using WaPOR derived data. This was done by analysing the spatial variation among irrigation application methods. Furthermore, the productivity gaps and implications of closing these gaps for production and water use are explored, considering water allocation in Awash River Basin.

Learn more about this case study in our 2-pager or read the full report.

Policy review and dialogue implemented in Kenya

Following a review of the agricultural policies on water and agriculture a stakeholder dialogue was implemented in November 2022 in Kenya. For more information read the full policy review and the policy brief

Policy Briefs for Jordan and Egypt

Two policy briefs were developed evaluating different future strategies using the spider diagram. For Egypt vertical expansion was evaluated against horizontal expension. For Jordan the review focussed on comparing the irrigated highlands with the Jordan Valley

Policy Review: Jordan

This policy review aims to shed light into the Jordanian national plans for agricultural water management in relation to water productivity and the related socio-economic objectives of national development that can be met through agricultural water management.

Learn more about this review in our 1-pager or read the full report.


Policy Review: Sudan

This quick review first discusses the aspects of the Acts and Policies that contributed to the current poor status of the agricultural production, water use efficiency and productivity as well as food security, job creation and other related socio-economic development issues, followed by the future outlook as defined by the ambitions and targets of the National Sudan Water Sector Strategy: Transforming Livelihoods 2021-2031.


Integrated Assessment Framework: Description and Application on a Hypothetical Case Study

The report presents the Integrated Assessment Framework and describes how it can score different agricultural development strategies against various technical, economic and social indicators, with the ultimate goal of providing a holistic understanding of development strategies and their (inherent) trade-offs. It applies the framework to a hypothetical case of two agricultural development strategies, the hypothetical horizontal expansion strategy and the hypothetical vertical expansion strategy, defines the data requirements for the real-life application of the framework, and discusses the strengths and weaknesses of the approach taken and final conclusions are drawn.


Policy Dialogues

This 2-pager highlights how a policy dialogue can help improve water productivity, including an introduction to what a policy dialogue is, why it important to improve water productivity, objectives and potential outcomes, and what to expect when participating in a policy dialogue.


Policy Review: Egypt

This quick review summarizes the role of water productivity in water and agricultural policies in Egypt. This review was used to develop the Framework for Conducting a Policy Review on Agricultural Water Productivity.


Framework for Conducting a Policy Review on Agricultural Water Productivity

This report presents a framework to conduct a policy review on agricultural water productivity and assess its implications for national development objectives. The method consists of 10 steps that guide a policy analyst from preparation to analysis, validation and policy influence. Practical insights are given for each step of the policy review framework. The framework allows for a quick and comprehensive understanding of the role of water in the development agendas of a country, and how that may change over time. The goal is to link the policy review results to biophysical impacts using WaPOR data to examine past increases or decreases in evapotranspiration (a measure for water use) or biomass (a measure for agricultural production).