The Water Resources Management Community of Practice focuses on the role of water in ASA. Here we share experiences, results, challenges, and lessons related to water resources on the farm and across the landscape, including water harvesting, irrigation, water resources management, and more.
Agriculture plays a major role in water management because it is a primary source of water usage in many countries and frequently has a negative impact on water resources.
When we began implementing ASA in 2012, we focused on small-scale irrigation and water harvesting methods to help farmers manage erratic rainfall and prolonged droughts. However, after analyzing the problems we encountered and their potential solutions, we came across the work of Malin Falkenmark at the Environmental Institute in Stockholm, who expounded on the importance of “green water” in agriculture, i.e. water that cycles through soil and plants, versus irrigation, which is known as “blue water”.
Dr. Falkenmark explained that during the past century there’s been too much time and money invested into irrigation or “blue water”, (which has depleted water resources in many countries), while very little attention has been paid to “green water”, which focuses mainly on managing the soil and the land well. Dr. Jennie Barron—also from Sweden—wrote an article called, “Manage soil to manage water,” which is a mantra for the ASA approach. Now thanks to their research, and the results we’ve seen when implementing this new knowledge, the use of “green water” has become a big part of ASA. It has even been the inspiration behind the name of our blog, AguaVerde or GreenWater, to honor the researchers who have inspired ASA from the start.
There is much more to learn around ASA and water management. In this space, we will pull information from partners and allies, such as the Water for Food Institute, the Water, Lands, and Ecosystems research collaborative, and many others working on these issues.
Follow us and contribute to the Water Resources Management Community of Practice through the AguaVerde blog. Don’t forget to use the tag “Water.”