The limits to using new water have been largely reached, and competition between uses and users is increasing. Moreover, other sectors demand more water to be ‘freed up’ from the agricultural sector. At the same time climate change, including extreme weather events, will impact food production in several ways: unreliable rainfall, higher weed growth due to rising CO2 levels, and a larger incidence of pests may slow down agricultural productivity. Also, greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture – already 14% of the global total – are likely to increase unless farming is transformed.
This is why we need improved agricultural water productivity. Freeing up water now, locked in current low productivity uses, will ensure that water will remain available in the future to meet the increased demand for food, fodder and fiber as well as other uses and will reduce the risk of conflict.
FutureWater, as part of the 25% Water Productivity Alliance, will co-host a Water Productivity Hackathon in Cairo, Egypt on October 17-18. In this 24 hours hackathon, a group of brilliant minds creatively start breakthroughs in water management. Through pitches, mini-workshops, and consultation sessions teams work on a range of topics to develop high potential applications based on the WaPOR database and other open access databases. The 3 winning teams will be awarded with prize money. In addition, the winner receives support to further develop the concept / application. Also, the winner will be invited to the world’s largest annual gathering of the ‘ICT for development’ community of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS). Applications developed will be made available in the open domain.