Free access to knowledge and communication are key in tackling the challenges of the future, such as coping with climate change and achieving food security by enhancing cooperation among the water, agriculture and energy sectors. The mission of agriwaterpedia is securing and further developing crucial knowledge with regard to agricultural water management in the context of climate change and food security, and making this knowledge accessible to users worldwide. Empowering practitioners and experts in development cooperation to make informed decisions, and to share their knowledge so that everyone can benefit from the wealth of experiences, is the driving force of the initiative.
Agriwaterpedia, an online based knowledge platform, is still under development in its introductory phase. Currently, knowledge is only being entered by Deutsche Gesellschaft fuer Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH.
The vision for agriwaterpedia is to facilitate knowledge sharing and communication with practitioners, water, agriculture and energy experts, universities, civil society, the public and the private sector by empowering every person to work cooperatively as one community to seize the opportunity to foster capacity building worldwide.
Agriwaterpedia aims to remove knowledge and communication barriers so that theoretical knowledge can benefit from the lessons learnt from practitioners, and vice versa. Existing practical knowledge from the 1990s can be combined with the latest scientific insights to catalyze sustainable development in agricultural water management under the existing challenges of climate change and food security.
The agriwaterpedia community will be open to all organizations and individuals. As a Web 2.0 based social expert community, agriwaterpedia will enable individuals, civil society, the private and the public sector to enter into dialogue and to work cooperatively in a collective workspace, identify best practices and educate the public on agricultural water management for food security.
By focusing on the potentials that arise from a global cooperative approach, agriwaterpedia aims to become a sustainable, worldwide leading knowledge and working platform on agricultural water management for food security in climate change to tackle the water, energy and food security nexus.
Water means life, and is the most crucial factor – alongside soil and energy – needed to produce food. Water will become one of the earth’s most limited resources due to climate change and other man-made effects. These limitations will be critical in a world that faces further population growth while also being confronted with diminishing resources. Already today, fresh water of good quality is scarce in many regions. Profound and in-depth expert knowledge is key to successfully safeguard the supply of water and develop sustainable solutions for its use. However, sources of information are either widely dispersed or not accessible at all.
Agriwaterpedia is an initiative to foster the provision of approaches and good practices, and to draw data from experiences and lessons learnt from a variety of development countries. The platform is also an instrument to trigger communication and actively promote knowledge exchange.
Agriwaterpedia is a major step towards closing this knowledge gap -- a tool in discussing strategies and challenges related to agricultural water use on a global scale. Initiated by GIZ, the platform was launched during World Water Week 2012 on 28 August.
However, agriwaterpedia is still under development. During this introductory stage, you will be able to gather information and knowledge posted by GIZ, and to use the working space to get in contact with other experts and share your views and experience.
In the future, it is envisaged to offer a wiki platform (internet based working space) where you will be able to write, create, revise and disseminate articles related to agricultural water management for food security under climate change with regard to development cooperation. Access to shared knowledge will foster the nexus approach on water, energy and food security.
The platform is intended to secure crucial knowledge with regard to agricultural water management in the context of climate change and food security and to make this knowledge accessible to users worldwide. It is to provide practitioners and experts in development cooperation with approaches and good practices, and will draw data from experiences and lessons learnt from a variety of development countries. The platform is also to be an instrument to trigger communication and actively promote knowledge exchange.
Agriwaterpedia aims at a better integration of expert knowledge for supporting knowledge transfer. For example, current successful approaches to agricultural water management can be documented, and can then be discussed and further developed with relevant actors coming from partner governments, civil society, and private industry and energy experts.
History of agriwaterpedia
Agriculture accounts for 70 per cent of the global water consumption. Providing food security for the world’s 7 billion people is clearly one of the biggest challenges we are facing: there are 1 billion people that currently suffer from hunger and malnutrition. During the next 40 years, the world population will expand with an additional 2 billion people. Due to this and other factors, there is an increasing pressure on water resources. According to estimates recently released by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), an additional 50 to 60 per cent of water will be required by 2030 to meet the growing demand for the production of food, feed, fibre and fuel. More water will also be needed in the future for human consumption and industrial production. Additionally, the current water consumption rate has to be significantly reduced by at least 10 per cent to safeguard existing ecosystems, such as wet lands, and maintain the ecological status-quo. The most severe challenges will be posed by climate change, which will alter the precipitation and the consequential water availability in many regions.
To meet these challenges, water smart solutions will be needed, e.g. water spreading weirs, to increase water availability and reduce energy input while improving food security. In a world with growing population and a strong trend for urbanization, the nexus approach which interlinks water, energy and food security while supporting adaptation to and mitigation of climate change is strongly fostering solutions of this kind.
Sustainable solutions require knowledge. Until the early 1990s, development cooperation collected an abundance of highly valuable experiences in agricultural water use. However, these reports and documents are not electronically available and thus lack deployment by potential users around the world. In the meantime, the focus of development cooperation has increasingly shifted away from agriculture and agricultural water use. One result of this shift is fewer experts are doing research and working on agricultural water management issues, and their extensive knowledge is difficult to access. However, this know-how and in-depth knowledge would be valuable when adapting to today’s challenges, such as climate change
2011 - It all started the beginning of 2011 when GIZ embarked on a project to provide knowledge regarding “Efficient water use for food security under climate change” to the public and to increase communication in the field of agricultural water use among stakeholders. Aiming at the involvement of practitioners, water, agriculture and energy experts, universities, civil society, the public and the private sector, a knowledge platform with interactive tools was selected to enhance the exchange and common discussion on sectoral and intersectoral views. Based on the GIZ experiences and technical features of “energypedia”, the knowledge platform was implemented.
2012 – agriwaterpedia is launched during the Stockholm World Water Week in August. All participants are invited to voice their interest, to share their experiences in the shaping the website, and to gather networks for future cooperation.
The agriwaterpedia portal has different groups: agricultural water management, climate change and food security The group function allows you to stay informed on latest group activities, articles, news and the most active members in the respective group.
The aim of the different groups is to share knowledge and experience on the respective topics. This is the right place to discuss technical advances, lessons learnt and other issues. Here you can find the information you seek by interacting with other experts and benefit from their vast experience! Moreover, you can inform your peers of upcoming events: conferences, fairs etc. However, no advertising on the platform, nor subsequent email advertising, is allowed!