Irrigation Water

Annual Report 2010

Water Resource Allocation

Natural resources must be carefully managed in order to sustain a robust agriculture sector—as well as improved livelihoods and food security—in developing countries, and water is a top priority among these resources. In 2010, IFPRI researchers completed the Yellow River Basin Focal Project, which assessed water poverty and the potential of water trading for this extremely water-scarce area in China. Among other conclusions, researchers found that interprovincial water trading is a low-cost approach to addressing water shortages and that water policy in the Yellow River Basin affects food prices globally—so much so that by 2030, if Yellow River Basin irrigation water declines by 30 percent, wheat prices are projected to increase by 6 percent, maize prices by 4 percent, and rice prices by 3 percent.

Other focal areas under the Natural Resource Policies theme include: