Growing water scarcity continues to threaten the agricultural sector in Asia. In order to address this critical issue, FAO and partners have been developing a comprehensive Asia Pacific Water Scarcity Programme (WSP) since 2019. Under this program, a series of trainings on water accounting will be held in Indonesia, Vietnam and Thailand as establishing a water accounting system is the first step to better managing water resources. In collaboration with the Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (RAP) of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), FutureWater will be designing and delivering these water accounting trainings which will aim to not only improve participants’ understanding of water accounting but also enable them to use modern and innovate tools to develop water accounts, with a particular focus on quantifying linkages between field interventions and basin-scale hydrology.
The issue of water scarcity is intensifying across the Asia Pacific region, posing significant challenges for sustainable agricultural production and water resources management. The Water Scarcity Program (WSP), designed by FAO-RAP and partners, aims to bring agricultural water use within sustainable limits and prepare the sector for a productive future with less water. The program aims to assess the ongoing issue of water scarcity in the region, evaluate potential management options, and assist partner countries to implement adaptive management in the agriculture water sector using innovative tools and approaches.
As part of the WSP, FutureWater will design and deliver a two-phase water accounting training program in Indonesia, Vietnam and Thailand, respectively. The first phase of the training will primarily focus on introducing and better understanding the concept of water accounting, its components and approaches. Participants will also work with tools such as REWAS and Follow the Water (developed by FutureWater in collaboration with FAO) to conduct water accounting in agricultural systems at different scales. Through the use of these tools, participants will be able to estimate real water savings at system and basin scale, and also analyze the impact of different irrigation schemes on the overall water availability in the system. The second phase will consist of participants working on the selected basin in each country to develop a detailed water account. Given the data availability and accessibility issues in the region, the participants will learn how to access, process and analyse remotely sensed datasets using Google Earth Engine.
In addition to the trainings, FutureWater will also provide technical inputs for the regional WSP events on water scarcity and highlight the technical challenges of implemeting water accounting and allocation in south-east Asia for the WSP High Level Technical Meeting to be held in June 2024.