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Chasing Water: A Guide for moving from scarcity to sustainability

Brian Richter, 2014, Island Press, 192 p, ISBN: 978-1610915380

Water scarcity is spreading and intensifying in many regions of the world, with dire consequences for local communities, economies, and freshwater ecosystems. Current approaches tend to rely on policies crafted at the state or national level, which on their own have proved insufficient to arrest water scarcity. To be durable and effective, water plans must be informed by the culture, economics, and varied needs of affected community members.

International water expert Brian Richter argues that sustainable water sharing in the twentyfirst century can only happen through open, democratic dialogue and local collective action. In Chasing Water, Richter tells a cohesive and complete story of water scarcity: where it is happening, what is causing it, and how it can be addressed.

Chasing Water will provide local stakeholders with the tools and knowledge they need to take an active role in the watershed-based planning and implementation that are essential for water supplies to remain sustainable in perpetuity.

Status Report on the application of integrated approaches to water resources management 2012

UNEP, 2012. ISBN: 978-92-807-3264-1

This Status Report, prepared by UNEP in collaboration with UNDP and GWP, is based on a 2011 UN-Water survey sent to the governments of all UN member states. More than 130 countries have responded to the survey and this data has been complemented by interviews in 30 representative countries. The report is intended to inform decision-making at the Rio+20 conference and follow-up global policy discourses. It will facilitate information exchange to enhance the coherence and impact of national efforts to improve water resources management and related work of the UN and other external support agencies at the country level.

The high country response to the survey demonstrates the value of reporting and emphasizes the need for a more rigorous, evidence based, reporting system on progress with water resources development and management. Implementing integrated approaches to water resources management should remain a key component of future development paradigms.

Water for wealth and food security: supporting farmer-driven investments in agricultural water management

Giordano, M.; de Fraiture, C.; Weight, E.; van der Bliek, J. (Eds.). 2012, International Water Management Institute (IWMI, 48p. ISBN 978-92-9090-752-7

Despite agriculture’s significant contributions to India’s economic growth, smallholder farmers, including many female farmers, continue to face a number of critical challenges to produce food in a sustainable and profitable manner, particularly in the context of climate change. Nowhere in India is this situation more pronounced than in West Bengal and Madhya Pradesh, which are predominantly agrarian states dominated by smallholder farmers and complex agrarian systems. Addressing the challenges of agricultural production in these two states requires an approach focused on smallholder agriculture. In this context, it is highly commendable that IWMI – in collaboration with FAO, IFPRI, iDE and SEI as well as numerous local partners including the Indian Council of Agricultural Research – conducted an intensive study and produced recommendations for investments to improve small-scale agricultural water management in the Indian states of West Bengal and Madhya Pradesh. These investments include rainwater harvesting, drip irrigation, rural electrification and refinements to the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme.

The results of this collaborative research effort – synthesized in this report – deliver an original and substantive contribution to our knowledge of beneficial avenues to increase incomes and agricultural production through improved agricultural water management not only for West Bengal and Madhya Pradesh but also for India, generally. The recommendations of the study produced are practical, actionable and supported by key stakeholders on the ground.