ODI’s Water Policy Programme (WPP), the Global Water Initiative East Africa (GWI) and UEA’s Water Security Research Centre (WSRC) will host a flagship event on 21 March 2014 to mark World Water Day (22nd March). The event will bring together international experts from a range of disciplines and sector perspectives to discuss four key themes:
- The groundwater perspective: Are recent headlines about Africa’s vast groundwater potential credible? What do we know – and what don’t we know – about the development potential and management needs of groundwater resources in SSA?
- The agriculture perspective: Does better land and water management, and more irrigation in particular, hold the key to ‘climate-proofing’ agriculture, raising yields and reducing rural poverty?
- The development and poverty perspective: Groundwater irrigation for smallholder farmers in SSA is accelerating, but what do we know about its ability to deliver inclusive growth and the factors that still block development?
- Lessons from the Asian perspective: Thanks to a groundwater boom, millions of farmers have improved their livelihoods and food security in South Asia and northern China. But the costs of runaway withdrawals are now hitting hard – on poorer farmers, the environment and other sectors, not least energy. What important lessons can be drawn?
The day will conclude with the launch of a new book, Water Security, Principles, Perspectives and Practices, published by Earthscan, with mini-presentations from some of the well-known authors.
Introduction: The scope of the water & agriculture challenge
Roger Calow (ODI) & Alan Nicol (GWI)
Keynote 1: The resource perspective
Prof Alan Macdonald (BGS)
Keynote 2: The agriculture perspective
Dr Hezron Mogaka (ASARECA Uganda)
Keynote 3: A country perspective – Ethiopia
H.E. Ato Sileshi Getahun (Ethiopian State Minister for Agriculture)
Keynote 4: A development & poverty perspective
Dr Karen Villholth (IMWI)
Facilitated discussion: From ground to growth, but what are the pathways?
Roger Calow/Alan Nicol chair
Water security perspectives: Rapid-fire session from Earthscan book chapter authors
Chapter authors give 3 minute ‘elevator pitch’ followed by discussion. Bruce Lankford (UEA) chairs
Keynote 5: Lessons from India: the rise and fall of the groundwater irrigation economy
Shilp Verma (IWMI)
Keynote 6: Grounding the South Asia perspective in Africa.
Prof Richard Taylor (UCL)
Violet Alinda (GWI)
Dr Steve Wiggins (ODI)
Dr Eva Ludi (ODI)
Dr Bruce Lankford (UEA)
Roger Calow & Alan Nicol
Earthscan book launch and wine reception