The Segura Basin in Spain is the driest in Europe. With 365 mm of annual rainfall, this basin has the lowest rainfall in the European Union. Nevertheless, it is also a region which exports fruit and vegetables. The Segura River is thus the main water sources for irrigation. In 1986, when Spain became a member of the European Union, the production of agriculture and canned food significantly increased. As a consequence, a rise in wastewater discharges and lack of water in the already water-stressed Segura River brought extreme deterioration of the water-related ecosystem and a strong social discontent.
The farmers in the Volta river basin generally rely on rain-fed agriculture. However, insufficient or irregular rainfall frequently puts farmers at risk of losing their crops. Farmers must have access to a reliable water supply to sustain their livelihoods. In line with the problems highlighted, the Challenge Program on Water and Food (CPWF) set out to find ways to strengthen the capacity of the famers, communities and other stake holders in the basin. As a lesson learnt, it is reasonable to expect stakeholders to adopt improved agricultural practices if such new practices are of their own benefit. Experiences show that stakeholders will only participate in innovation platform meetings when they see the value of doing so.
The lowland valley of Chancay-Lambayeque watershed is scarce of water resources, forcing farmers to irrigate with insufficiently treated waste water, resulting in severe health issues. Action was taken through the project “Future Development of San José farmer community: Wastewater” which was a collaboration between the private and the public sectors, aiming to illustrate alternative ways to irrigate. The most important lesson is that cooperation is an important instrument for development.
Uzbekistan is experiencing water scarcity, an issue which will be exacerbated with increased demand. Although policies exist, the water seldom reaches the end water users. To combat this issue, action has been taken by GWP Uzbekistan to conduct trainings and workshops on the dissemination of IWRM to encourage a participatory multi-sector approach. This case study illustrates the importance of public awareness, and the need for work to be conducted at all levels.
Irrigation infrastructure is crucial for economic development in Fujian. However, due to incomplete water management, the existing water facilities do not satisfy the current development. Action has been taken by the infrastructure department of Fujian provinces to cooperate with local farmers and organisations to explore participatory management and new mechanism of local water management. This case indicates that direct involvement of water users will result in rational use of water resources.