Water Resource Allocation


The water research team focuses on four key areas.

Water modeling for enhanced adaptation to climate change and other global change drivers

Most climate change impacts are mediated through water, particularly those related to agriculture. The team’s work on water management and global change links to IFPRI’s broader Global Change research program. As part of this program, the team developed a global hydrologic model as a component of the International Model for Policy Analysis of Agricultural Commodities and Trade (IMPACT) to support climate change analysis. IFPRI is also involved with the CGIAR’s Challenge Program on Water and Food, under which it has contributed to the topic “Global Drivers and Processes of Change” in the Program’s second phase.

Investing in agricultural water management

IFPRI’s irrigation investment analyses aim to promote more effective spending of private and public resources for enhanced rural water security. The water team has prepared studies for donors on irrigation investments in Sub-Saharan Africa and small-scale agricultural water management interventions in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. The focus is on scaling up interventions to the regional level for individual technologies and assessing costs and benefits.

Role of economic incentives and institutions for water access and use by the poor

Given growing water scarcity and increased pressures on natural resource management, the role of economic incentives and institutions in enhancing water availability, access, and use will continue to increase in importance. This research focuses on countries interested in or with ongoing innovative economic incentives in Asia (China and India) and Latin America, and community-based natural resource management entities in Sub-Saharan Africa.

In partnership with the CGIAR System-wide Program on Collective Action and Property Rights (CAPRi), the water team is undertaking research on property rights and collective action mechanisms related to water.

This research program has also been active in the Challenge Program on Water and Food, leading the Basin Focal Project on the Yellow River, which examines economic incentives for intersectoral water allocation. It also led one project—Integrating Governance and Modeling—on governing and modeling successful collective action in water resource management in Ghana and Chile. The project team developed the Net-Map toolbox, which allows users to analyze the networks, influence, and goals of relevant actors involved in water resources management. Net-Map includes a physical toolbox developed with IFPRI’s Communication Division.

Water quality management

This research area aims to improve water and food security for the poor through better health and nutrition and increased agricultural productivity, as a result of enhanced water quality management. Water quality issues are complex, and limited budget resources in developing countries are seldom directed toward water quality policies and analysis. IFPRI is working to address these concerns by collaborating with international institutes working on environment and natural resource management and other CGIAR centers. Target countries and regions include India, East Africa, and Peru.

This program cuts across IFPRI’s research divisions and CGIAR centers, forming part of the institute’s Food and Water Safety program, as well as the Agriculture and Health CGIAR research platform. The water team focuses on the implications for irrigation, agricultural production and productivity (including fertilizers and pesticides), and food security.