Water-smart Agriculture

As the world's population booms towards 9 billion by 2050, the demand for agricultural products - food, fiber and fodder - will rise dramatically. Combined with the effects of climate change, these demands will put even more strain on land, water, energy and other resources that are already stretched. 

There are a number of smart solutions that can be co-optimized and scaled-up in order to improve yields and meet growing food production demands while delivering energy and water efficiency.

The challenge

Agriculture is by far the largest consumer of freshwater. More than 70% of the world’s freshwater is used by the agricultural sector. The challenge for the food production system is particularly marked in India, in the context of its highly fragile water resources and increasing hunger and malnutrition gap. 

The business case

Businesses that are part of agricultural value chains benefit directly from improved water efficiency and more robust and resilient crop value chains. As co-users of water in a watershed, industries benefit from a reduced strain on water resources from agriculture and improved availability for all. 

The solution

With water efficiency in agriculture and farmer livelihoods as the focus, our Water-smart Agriculture initiative aims to identify smart, innovative and scalable business solutions and facilitate their co-implementation and scaling-up, starting with India. 

Our India Water Tool supports businesses and the farming community by helping them make informed decisions as they implement agricultural solutions and ensuring that they effectively address the country's water sustainability challenge. 

News and Insights

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WBCSD Council Meeting 2018

22 - 25 October, 2018,

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WBCSD Council Meeting 2019

14 - 17 October, 2019
, Lisbon, Portugal
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Impact on SDGs

The water-smart agriculture project directly contributes to Sustainable Development Goals 2 (Zero Hunger), SDG 6 (ensuring availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all) and SDG 13 (climate action), while being connected to many of the other goals on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. 


Deepa Maggo

Manager, Water