Water Productivity Improvement in Practice (Water-PIP)

The project Water Productivity Improvement in Practice (Water-PIP) aims to facilitate the increase in crop water productivity in DGIS partner countries in Africa and Near East and Northern Africa (NENA) region.

With nearly ten years of data available at a spatial resolution of 1 ha through the FAO-based WaPOR database, the project can assess water productivity variability and support national policies to improve water productivity. It also aims to connect IT business solutions to the WaPOR database to improve the analyses and provide more insight into the database for practical applications. It will also capture practical solutions and link agribusinesses to improve land and water productivity. At project level, Water Productivity (WP) scouting teams composed of water management (IHE Delft), crop production (WUR) and water solutions/ communication experts (MetaMeta) visit water projects in Africa and NENA. They assist in reviewing water productivity (using WaPOR and other approaches) as well as providing hands-on-solutions, exposure and links to (25% Alliance) agribusinesses. It is anticipated that the WaPOR database will not be fit for the review purpose for all identified projects, due for example to the resolution, scattering of plots or start of the project. For WaPOR suitable projects, analyses will focus on spatial variability of land and water productivity. These analyses as well as field visits of the scouts will identify successful areas/farmers within irrigation schemes and rainfed areas which have higher productivity compared to surrounding fields or show significant incremental productivity over time. Packages of practical solutions – formulated with assistance of the Dutch 25% Alliance and the best practices from the field – will be presented to the local stakeholders. At national level, the WaPOR analyses aims to support decision makers in various organizations, such as Ministries of Agriculture and Water Resources, River Basin Organisations or support/ regulatory programs in land and water related policy making. The first phase of the Water-PIP project started in 2018 and will continue until the end of 2020.

Phase 1 will start the project level analyses in four selected countries (Kenya, Rwanda, Ethiopia and Mozambique). Additional activities are planned in these four countries, including organizing hackathons and supporting national policies.

Phase 2 will also support the development of local knowledge hubs in Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon. Based on all the analyses, the project throughout its phases will communicate its findings to DGIS and FAO as key partners in the development of the WaPOR database. It will provide input into the feasibility of the Dutch ambition to improve water productivity by 25%. In addition it will reach out to international water and food programmes to support their efforts in improving water productivity.

WUR is among others mainly responsible for studying to what extent the water productivity improvement ambition is aligned with current policies in Egypt, Ethiopia, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon and Mozambique, by means of a policy dialogue. WUR will show scientifically the applicability, which depends on the accuracy of the WaPOR database, and the limitations to potential biophysical water productivity improvements.