Water Productivity Improvement in Practice

Work Packages

The WaterPIP project is broken down into 5 distinct but interconnected work packages:


Work Package 1: Assisting water projects

The objective of Work Package 1 (WP1) is to guide water projects and programs in understanding the concept of water productivity, to be able to report on trends in water productivity, identify causes for variability and decline in water productivity, and to be able to select a course of action for improving water productivity. All of these efforts will work towards the target of increasing water productivity by 25% as stipulated by the Dutch governmental agenda. The definition of water productivity used here is broad, and includes biophysical and socioeconomic parameters. The aim is to develop standardized protocols for analyzing biophysical water productivity (e.g., using WaPOR or AquaCrop), to complete diagnostic analyses to identify the causes for low water productivity, and to identify and discuss measures to improve water productivity with (agricultural) water managers and users. These will be tested and implemented in selected case studies. For case studies where clear recommendations can be provided, the project team will work with the project leads and system managers to work towards implementing these recommendations.

Work Package 2: Agri-business & IT

Work Package 2 (WP2) aims at providing services to promote and facilitate improving water productivity. It involves connecting with small and medium-sized enterprises, non-governmental organisations, and agri-businesses, and engage them in putting water productivity into practice. Farmers, suppliers, financers, processing industries, public sector, and information technology (IT) companies need to collaborate to develop solutions to improve water productivity.

The objective of WP2 is to:

  • Identify local use cases and engage with, and support (potential) WaPOR users through local service centers (engage)
  • Improve access to and interpretation/analysis/usage of WaPOR data and information by
    (co-)developing applications (develop)
  • Share, demonstrate and showcase water productivity tools through a repository and country based water productivity events (demonstrate)

Work Package 3: Assisting national policies

In Work Package 3 (WP3), the WaterPIP team will focus their efforts on assisting national policies in Egypt, Jordan, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Sudan. This assistance will be delivered through policy dialogues. Many valuable opinions and insights will exist on how to be more productive with water regions in a particular region. A policy dialogue is then useful to get a deeper understanding of current and alternative policy directions. The dialogue should move beyond mere water productivity (for instance crops per drops as pure policy objective), as in reality many more factors will play a role in decision-making processes on new policies for water management, such as employment generation, energy blending targets, poverty alleviation, food sovereignty, environment. The objective of a policy dialogue is to facilitate a meaningful discussion on productive land and water use, among participants based on different sources of information (WaPOR biomass, WaPOR evapotranspiration, socio-economics, water governance, policies, trade-offs between current and alternative policies). A dialogue will generate insight how productive a country or an area is with its water resources (crops, jobs, income per drop), whether policies still serve the latest priorities for land and water use, and indicate feasible strategies and management interventions at various levels to increase one or more forms of water productivity. By bringing people and different information sources together in a dialogue, it will have a longer-lasting impact on discussions for productive water use among ministries, scientists, the private sector, and countries (bilateral collaboration).

Work Package 4: International upscaling

Work Package 4 (WP4) aims at increasing the engagement of governments, donors and funders to put improving water productivity higher on the global agenda. Technical and communication material will be developed building on WaPOR applications and case studies developed by WP1-3. WP4 communicates how water productivity improvement goes beyond biophysical improvement and links to socio-economic dimensions. It makes explicit the trade-offs intrinsic to various kinds of decision-making and priority setting related to agriculture and water management.

In order to strengthen the link with the international agenda (Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and other relevant reporting frameworks), WP4 focuses on repackaging the case studies and tools developed in other work packages to support reporting on SDG 6.4, to which FAO is custodian agency, as well as other internationally relevant themes such as drought and dryland farming.

A digital library of application examples will be made available through the WaPOR portal. WaPOR will be enriched with “stories” to illustrate how the database is used for different applications, building also on examples developed under WP 1-3. Specific activities will target stakeholders at national and international level, the donor community and finance institutions.

WP4 will help increase the visibility of WaPOR and the importance of water productivity in key international events and fora. It will share the preliminary results to International Finance institutions (World Bank, Asian Development Bank, African Development Bank, Islamic Development Bank, and others) and partners (USAID, SIDA, JICA, GIZ, UN agencies and others) to spread the concept of 25% water productivity improvement. This will lead to increased institutional and financial support to upscale key solutions on 25% water productivity improvement to achieve the SDGs, especially in vulnerable countries.

Work Package 5: Knowledge hubs

Work Package 5 (WP5) aims at setting up knowledge hubs in target countries to uptake training activities and support on WP, develop a MOOC on water productivity, and to integrate water productivity related topics in research projects and curriculums run by academia in target countries.  WP5 has cross-cutting objectives supporting other work packages, specifically by developing open access training materials facilitating usage of WaPOR datasets by different stake holders – Irrigation/land managers (WP1), developers in the agri-business sector (WP2), policy makers/practitioners (WP3) and donors/partners (WP4). In addition, WP5 aims to increase the reach of the water productivity based assessments by developing knowledge hubs, specialized curriculums, a MOOC, and training materials in partnership with academic institutes in the south and will include additional uptake activities to disseminate the developed materials.

WP5 contributes to other work packages of the project in two ways – i) developing the training materials which support the proposed activities in other work packages and ii) developing webinars to showcase the outputs/case studies from other work packages. The training materials on analytical skills to estimate water productivity will support the activities in WP1 and proposed service hubs in WP2. This will be also made demand driven based on the inputs from project partners if there is need of having these materials on particular topics which will support their activities. Webinars on topics supporting WP3 on assisting national policies and WP4 on international upscaling will be developed.