Integrated water and food analysis at the global and basin level. An application of WATERSIM uri icon


  • Several recent studies warn that under 'Business-as-Usual' a water crisis is impending, suggesting that appropriate actions need to be taken on the water supply and demand side. While many measures to alleviate water scarcity are within the water sector, it is increasingly recognized that many drivers, policies and institutions outside the water sector have large and real implications on how water is being allocated and used. Important drivers for water use include population and income growth, urbanization, trade and other macroeconomic policies, environmental regulations and climate policy. While some of these processes and trends, especially those at global level, may prove difficult to influence directly, it is important to understand their linkages with water issues to analyze the relative impact of various policies in the agricultural and water sectors on water and food security.
  • The strong linkages between economic trends, agricultural policies and water use call for an integrated and multidisciplinary modelling approach. The WATERSIM model, developed by the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) is a suitable tool to explore the impacts of water and food related policies on global and regional water demand and supply, food production and the environment. This paper introduces the WATERSIM model and, using some preliminary results, illustrates the importance of global economic trends on food and water outcomes.

publication date

  • 2007
  • 2007