Monitoring Water Scarcity (SDG 6.4) in Africa with FAO WaPOR data and Google Earth Engine

Monitoring Water Scarcity (SDG 6.4) in Africa with FAO WaPOR data and Google Earth Engine

The importance of monitoring water use efficiency in agriculture. Target 6.4 addresses water-use efficiency and wa­ter stress. To track progress, two indicators were developed.

Water scarcity is becoming an increasing challenge as water demand is growing with double the rate of population growth in the twentieth century. In September 2015, the majority of the world adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, consisting of 17 Sustainable Develop­ment Goals (SDGs) with 169 targets. Target 6.4 addresses water-use efficiency and wa­ter stress. To track progress, **[two indicators](http://www.fao.org/sustainable-development-goals/indicators/641/en/) were developed.**

By 2030, substantially__increase water-use efficiency across all sectors and ensure sustainable withdrawals and supply of freshwater to address water scarcity, and substantially reduce the number of people suffering from water scarcity

— SDG 6.4

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Sustainable Development Goal 6.4 and its indicators to address water scarcity

Agriculture is key to Africa’s future. The continent has most of the world’s arable land, over half of its population is employed in the sector and it is the largest contributor to the total GDP. Moreover, Sub-Saharan Africa has the largest number of water-stressed countries and it is estimated that more than 2.8 billion people on the continent will face water scarcity conditions by 2025.

Therefore, governments should emphasize on improving their water resource management practices. To achieve this, good and sufficient data is necessary.

As agriculture accounts for 70 percent of global freshwater withdrawals, irrigation is considered the largest water-consuming activity in the world *and thus has great potential to become more water-efficient. So, how about specifying indicators 6.4.1 and 6.4.2 to enable in-depth evaluation of current irrigated agriculture practices? In light of this, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) developed a performance indicator that links food production to its water consumption; so-called *Water Productivity is defined as the ratio of agricultural yield [kg] to the amount of water that has been used (or consumed) for its production [m3].

water-scarcity google-earth-engine sdg6 water-use-efficiency fao data analytic

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