• Water & agriculture

Keynote address: Water use in agriculture – threats and opportunities

Organization IWA
Author Jeremy Bird
Year 2014
Topics Water & Agriculture
Level of action Water & Sanitation services/ Utility level


Jeremy Bird specialises in water resources policy, management and institutions. He joined IWMI in 2012 having been CEO of the Mekong River Commission. The conventional image of irrigation in developing and emerging economies is that of reservoirs feeding a hierarchy of inefficient canal systems managed by the public service. Water is flooded onto fields to grow relatively low value cereal crops of high water demand and traded at subsistence prices. In many areas this is still the case, but this image misrepresents the breadth of irrigation systems and the advances of recent years.