The Comprehensive Assessment of Water Management in Agriculture is a critical evaluation of the benefits, costs and impacts of water management from 1960 to 2007, the water management challenges communities face today, and the solutions people have developed around the world. It seeks to enable better investment and management decisions in water and agriculture by considering their impact up to 2050. The assessment’s scope is water management in agriculture, including fisheries and livestock, and it considers the full range of water management regimes, such as soil tillage, water harvesting and full irrigation. A number of policy recommendations are made, including ensuring agriculture is not managed in silo, promoting agriculture management which enhances ecosystem services, upgrading rain fed systems and reforming state water institutions.

Lessons learnt: 
The assessment used a participatory, open assessment process, thereby engaging stakeholders early in the assessment process, encouraging consensus building and debating of contentious issues. The assessment was undertaken by a diverse team of experts (scientists, practitioners and policy makers), with diverse geographical and disciplinary representation which not only helped ensure greater scientific rigor, but also underscores the assessment’s authority and encourages broad ownership over the conclusions. The Comprehensive Assessment of Water Management in Agriculture (CA) is an innovative multi-institute process aimed at identifying existing knowledge and stimulating thought on ways to manage water resources to continue meeting the needs of both humans and ecosystems. The CA critically evaluates the benefits, costs, and impacts of the past 50 years of water development and challenges to water management currently facing communities. It assesses innovative solutions and explores consequences of potential investment and management decisions. The CA is designed as a learning process, engaging networks of stakeholders to produce knowledge synthesis and methodologies. The main output of the CA is an Assessment report that aims to guide investment and management decisions in the near future considering their impact over the next 50 years in order to enhance food and environmental security to support the achievement of the MDGs.
Peer review: 

All Comprehensive Assessment of Water Management in Agriculture publications are peer reviewed.

Contact details
Contact Name: 
International Water Management Institute (IWMI)
UN languages in which the assessment is available: