Water Scarcity, Livelihoods and Food Security: Research and Innovation for Development, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Water Scarcity, Livelihoods and Food Security

Research and Innovation for Development, 1st Edition

Edited by Larry W. Harrington, Myles J. Fisher


246 pages | 25 B/W Illus.

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Paperback: 9780415728478
pub: 2014-08-12
Hardback: 9780415728461
pub: 2014-08-14
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pub: 2014-08-21
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This volume reviews the evolution of ten years’ learning and discovery about water scarcity, livelihoods, and food security within the CGIAR Challenge Program on Water and Food. It draws on the experiences of over 100 projects conducted in ten river basins in the developing world.

The book describes how the program’s design evolved from an emphasis on water scarcity, water productivity, and water access to an emphasis on using water innovations to improve livelihoods and address development challenges in specific river basins. It shows how the research was used to foster change in stakeholder behavior, linking it to improved knowledge, attitudes, and skills, which were fostered by stakeholder participation, innovation, dialogue, and negotiation.

The authors describe development challenges, their drivers and their political context, how to address them through technical, institutional, and policy innovations; and the consequences of change at different scales, time frames on equity, resilience, and ecosystem services. Overall, the work represents a major synthesis and landmark publication for all concerned with water resource management and sustainable development.


"From a water scarcity and productivity programme to one of development challenges, this book presents the commendable work of the CPWF in very diverse basins all over the world. The processes implemented built on participation, innovation, dialogue and negotiation among the locals, ultimate users of the resource, will ensure the positive legacy of the programme. Since lessons learnt will stay with the locals, and will not leave with the donors, the initial expectations of research for development may even be surpassed. Certainly a lesson for many donors."Cecilia Tortajada, President, Third World Centre for Water Management, Mexico.

Table of Contents

1. The Challenge Program on Water and Food: A New Paradigm for research in the CGIAR

Myles Fisher, Amanda Harding and Eric Kemp-Bennedict

2. Water Scarcity and Abundance, Water Productivity and their Relation to Poverty

Alain Vidal, Larry Harrington and Myles Fisher

3. Harnessing Research for Development to Tackle "Wicked Problems"

Michael Victor, Boru Douthwaite, Tonya Schuetz, Amanda Harding, Larry Harrington and Olufunke Cofie

4. The Institutional History of the Challenge Program on Water and Food

Ilse Pukinskis

5. Innovating in a Dynamic Technical Context

Larry Harrington and Martin van Brakel

6. Research on Institutions for Agricultural Water Management under the CGIAR Challenge Program on Water and Food

Nancy Johnson, Brent Swallow and Ruth Meinzen-Dick

7. Partnerships, Platforms and Power

Amy Sullivan, Terry Clayton, Amanda Harding and Larry Harrington

8. From Research Outputs to Development Outcomes: Selected Stories

Terry Clayton and Michael Victor

9. Messages and Meaning

Larry Harrington and Alain Vidal

About the Editors

Larry Harrington is Research Director, Challenge Program on Water and Food (CPWF) of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), based at the International Water Management Institute (IWMI), Colombo, Sri Lanka.

Myles Fisher is Emeritus Scientist, Centro Internacional de Agricultura Tropical (CIAT), Cali, Colombia.

About the Series

Earthscan Studies in Water Resource Management

Earthscan Studies in Water Resource Management
This series includes a wide range of inter-disciplinary approaches to water resource management, integrating perspectives from both social and natural sciences. It includes research monographs and titles aimed at professionals, NGOs and policy-makers. Authors or editors of potential new titles should contact Hannah Ferguson, Editor (Hannah.Ferguson@tandf.co.uk).

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SCIENCE / Earth Sciences / Hydrology
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Agriculture / Irrigation
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Environmental / Water Supply