Water and Land
for Agriculture and Food

Water scarcity and Climate Change are placing unprecedented pressure on water availability. There is a need to optimize water use practices to strive towards water and food security. The major focus of this topic is to bring together scientists and stakeholders to improve the evidence-based decision making for improving the co-management of water and land for sustainable food systems.

  • Water Scarcity, Water Productivity and Food Security
  • Sustainable Intensification of Rainfed and Irrigated Agriculture
  • Water and Land Degradation / Desertification
  • Socio-economic Aspects of Water and Food Security

Related sessions

Building Resilient Food Systems Through Efficient Water Use

Hosted by: Mirja Michalscheck (WUR), Heinrich Hagel and Daniela Gomez (University Hohenheim, FSC)

Sustainable land and water management are two of today’s greatest challenges. Climate change and a growing global demand for resources respectively increase the uncertainty and the pressure on water resources and agricultural production. The increasing water scarcity and food demand call for more efficient and resilient agricultural systems i.a. producing ‘more crop per drop’. In this session, we take a look at the importance of water use efficiency (SDG 6.4) for resilient food systems (SDG 2.4). We would like to reflect on how to increase water use efficiency (WUE) for agricultural production and on how resilient food systems (will) look like when aiming at water security under climate change.

We welcome session contributions such as

  • Concrete case studies, demonstrating (in) how (far) increased WUE leads to greater resilience and sustainable agriculture (food security, incomes, health)
  • Concrete case studies where it does or did not and a discussion of why not
  • Literature reviews, identifying focal points and blind spots in related research
  • Modelling studies, including scenario and impact assessments
  • Reflections on innovative methods, such as serious games for assessing or teaching about WUE and/or resilient food systems
Circular Design-Built Strategies for Climate-Friendly and Citizen-Driven Urban Water and Food Systems

Hosted by: Angela Million, Grit Bürgow and Anja Steglich (TU Berlin)

The subject of the session is the organizational and design-built integration of technical module sets for the combined use of water treatment and reuse in urban farming; whether at ground  level, in vertical structures or on the roof-tops of the city.

The focus is on combined water and farming systems that are easy to implement and operate, and are therefore particularly suitable for collective and sharing usage. Ideally, they are also not place-fixed and can be used flexibly by the citizens in different locations.

Central questions for the session are therefore: How can service water, rainwater and urban fertilizers become useable in a cooperative and productive way? How can blue-green infrastructures become part of a climate-friendly urban development driven by citizen? How, how much and in what quality can edible green, biodiversity and a pleasant urban climate be reproduced by mobile and rather low-tech design-built strategies? Contributions are sought that deal with the design and technical feasibility, from operation and maintenance to the mapping of combined water and farming systems and their ecosystem services in the urban context of the global South or North.

Food and Water Security Under Changing Environmental Conditions

Hosted by: Heinrich Hagel and Daniela Gomez (University Hohenheim, FSC)

Fresh water availability is crucial for food security as it is required for crop and livestock production. Population growth combined with dietary shifts and increasing relevance of non-food crops heavily increase the pressure on fresh water resources. At the same time, climate change strongly affects the spatial and temporal availability of fresh water. To ensure food security, especially concerning healthy diets, it is necessary to understand the interactions of water and food systems with their dynamic environment.

We welcome innovative contributions presenting sustainable adaptation strategies of food production systems to changing environmental conditions with respect to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (esp. SDGs 2, 15) and the Paris Agreement – NAPs. Multi-disciplinary approaches taking into account different stakeholder levels are highly welcome. Besides technical solutions, contributions include climate change impact assessment, adaption strategies, decision support tools, and alternative water use strategies.

Socio-Economic Aspects of Water and Food Security

Hosted by: Heinrich Hagel and Daniela Gomez (University Hohenheim, FSC)

Provision of water and food security are main challenges reflected within the UN Sustainable Development Goals (esp. SDGs 2 and 15). To guarantee the sustainable implementation of innovative technical solutions, economic feasibility and social acceptability are crucial. Therefore, this session aims at analysing the socio-economic dimension of natural resource management solutions and their implementation potential to ensure water and food security.

We welcome contributions covering the socio-economic aspects of water and land management systems, which include (but are not limited to) economic valuation and local acceptance of coping mechanisms, resilience strategies and responding measures. Concrete case studies on specific local and cultural solutions including a multi-stakeholder approach are highly welcome.

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