Agricultural Water Management

Agricultural Water Management encompasses the research field of water resources use efficiency and productivity of agricultural systems from plot, scheme, system to landscape level. In the wake of increasing water scarcity and the impacts of climate change on agricultural production, research under this theme focuses on the challenges the sector is facing in increasing its (water) productivity and resources use efficiency, while securing long-term sustainability.

This entails the assessment and unravelling of current water use efficiency and productivity in agricultural systems, as well as the scoping of improvement strategies. In the realm of climate change adaptation, the focus is on the transformation of agricultural (and aquaculture) systems to the changing environmental conditions seeking a better symbiosis between agriculture and the changing environment. Trade-offs between scales (plot-scheme-basin-landscape) and units of production, as well as societal perspectives (physical, economic and social productivity and environmental sustainability) are explored and weighed. These are subsequently brought to the front in policy dialogues and planning cycles to inform explicit and deliberate policy and planning decisions about resources utilization and trade-offs.