Water scarcity already affects every continent and more than 40 percent of the people on our planet. By 2025, 1.8 billion people will be living in countries or regions with absolute water scarcity, and two-thirds of the world’s population could be living under water stressed conditions
(former FAO Director-General Dr. Jacques Diouf, 2007)
Efficient water use
Diminishing ground water resources, advancing desintegration of hydrological cycles, drying of once splendid water sources: more and more regions are affected by the consequences of water scarcity.
Together with fertile soils, water forms another essential element for human well- being and steady agricultural production. Millions of small farmers around the world count with plenty of land but low agricultural production not because of an overall lack of water but the combined effects of uneven rainfall and mismanagement of the available soil and water resources. Situations commonly occur where the local population suffers flooding during one part of the year and drought a few months later.
As in the case of soil rehabilitation, improving the water situation in a lasting manner requires a holistic perspective. Such an approach combines measures to enhance water infiltration, rain water harvesting and storage and crop selection as well as the application of water-efficient cultivation techniques.
Simple, low cost rain water storage structures offer poor farmers in many semi-arid areas great potential for improving their access to water for domestic and horticultural activities.