Water Use in Agroecosystems

The integrated role of water in ecosystems and, in particular, in agroecosystems, as well as the multiple uses of water – across various sectors that have increasing demands, have been widely recognized. But regions and institutions are still struggling to resolve issues around water – be it scarcity, accessibility or degradation. Mostly, they are caught in conventional institutional and policy frameworks that have been set up based more on sectoral than on cross-sectoral principles, thus preventing them from achieving the ultimate goal of sustainability. This chapter analyses the current and future challenges related to water availability and water use for agriculture from this perspective. It looks at water quantity and quality, water infrastructure, and related governance and institutional aspects, using case studies from basins in different geographic regions.