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Water is the world’s most precious resource. All living things on our planet rely on water to survive. Yet it is a resource at risk.
Right now, 1.1 billion people lack access to water. By 2025, two in three people may face water shortages.
Growing populations and unsustainable resource management increase water stress on rural communities, while climate change worsens flooding, landslides, and saltwater intrusion into freshwater systems.
How can rural people’s water security be improved?
Investing in policies and local institutions can result in better management and allocation of land and water resources, giving groups equal access and usage rights.
Infrastructure and technology can increase water availability and the efficient use of water. Many countries rely on large irrigation schemes, which are often unsustainable and have infrastructure that is difficult to develop and maintain. Instead, small irrigation schemes are effective when carefully planned.
Conserving catchment areas and aquifers also improves sustainable access to water for the rural poor.
What is IFAD doing?
By working closely with rural communities, traders, retailers, and local governments, IFAD is helping to improve the allocation and management of water resources.
IFAD invests in water infrastructure and technology for small-scale irrigation schemes, post-harvesting handling and processing, and domestic water supply.
By advocating for an integrated and participatory approach to water resource management, IFAD empowers poor rural people to participate in managing the resources on which they depend.
As COP15 tackles desertification, here are three ways IFAD is helping farmers in sub-Saharan Africa build their resilience to climate change
Sub-Saharan Africa’s drylands – that is, the areas where more water is lost through evaporation than gained through rainfall – are facing widespread degradation. There are many factors causing this, but one of the most prominent is the use of agricultural practices that aren’t adapted to the land, such as overgrazing and intensive agriculture.