Water Risk Hotspots for Agriculture

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Published on September 25, 2017


Agriculture is expected to face increasing water risks that will impact production, markets, trade and food security - risks that can be mitigated with targeted policy actions on water hotspots. This report develops the hotspot approach, provides an application at the global scale, and presents a mitigation policy action plan. The People’s Republic of China, India and the United States are identified as countries facing the greatest water risks for agriculture production globally.

A global simulation shows that, in the absence of action, water risks in Northeast China, Northwest India and the Southwest United States in particular could have significant production, price and trade consequences. Agriculture water risks could also result in broader socio-economic and food security concerns. Farmers, agro food companies, and governments can all play a role in responding to water risks at hotspot locations. A three-tier policy action plan is proposed to confront water risk hotspots,  encompassing targeted responses, adapted national policies, strengthened market integration and international collaboration.


Foreword and acknowledgements
Executive summary
Addressing water risks in agriculture
Defining and identifying water risks for agriculture
Water risk hotspots and the impact on production, markets and food security
Confronting future water risks
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OECD GREEN TALKS LIVE ON "Water Risk Hotspots for Agriculture" - 18 OCTOBER 2017

Agriculture is expected to face increasing water risks in the future. Climate change, extreme weather events, sea level rise, growing water demand from other sectors, groundwater depletion and pollution will impact agriculture production in different regions of the world.

Green talks Water Risk Hotspots in Agriculture

Where are the water risk hotspots? How will they affect markets, trade or food security and what can be done? 

On 18 October 2017, Guillaume Gruère of the OECD Trade and Agriculture Directorate discussed the use of a hotspot approach to mitigate the impacts of these growing risks for agriculture and food security. The presentation was based on the recently published OECD study on water: Water Risk Hotspots for Agriculture.  Water Risk Hotspots for Agriculture.

Watch the video