OECD Studies on Water

2224-5081 (online)
2224-5073 (print)
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Water is essential for economic growth, human health, and the environment. Yet governments around the world face significant challenges in managing their water resources effectively. The problems are multiple and complex: billions of people are still without access to safe water and adequate sanitation; competition for water is increasing among the different uses and users; and major investment is required to maintain and improve water infrastructure in OECD and non-OECD countries. This OECD series on water provides policy analysis and guidance on the economic, financial and governance aspects of water resources management. These aspects generally lie at the heart of the water problem and hold the key to unlocking the policy puzzle.

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Mitigating Droughts and Floods in Agriculture

Mitigating Droughts and Floods in Agriculture

Policy Lessons and Approaches You do not have access to this content

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18 Jan 2016
9789264246744 (PDF) ;9789264246737(print)

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Climate change is expected to increase the frequency and magnitude of extreme weather events, notably of droughts and floods to which the agriculture sector is particularly exposed. While agricultural productivity growth and policy development have allowed to better cope with these risks and reduce overall impacts on the sector and commodity markets, there is substantial room to improve policy responses and co-ordinate across policy domains, including with respect to water rights and allocation, weather and hydrological information, innovation and education, and insurance and compensation schemes. Indeed, drought and flood risks are likely to become a major policy concern as increasing population will increase the demand for food, feed, fibre, and energy, not to mention the competition for water resources, and urbanisation will increase the demand for flood protection and mitigation, raising the issue of the allocation of flood risks across sectors and areas.

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  • Foreword and acknowledgements

    Agriculture will face multiple challenges in the 21st century to provide food, fibre and energy for a growing population whose eating habits are rapidly changing. It must do so while improving its environmental performance and sustainability in a context of climate change.

  • Executive summary

    The agriculture sector is particularly exposed to risks of floods and droughts, which may become more frequent and severe due to climate change in a context of increased demand for food and urban space. In the course of the 20th century, agricultural productivity growth and policy development have allowed to better cope with these risks and reduce their overall impact on the economy and the agricultural sector itself. They nevertheless remain an important issue in many countries, causing substantial costs to the sector and, in some cases, impacts on commodity markets.

  • Characterising and measuring droughts and floods

    This chapter provides an overview of the meteorological, hydrological and socio-economic dimensions of drought and flood risks. It describes the approaches to characterise and assess these risks, and to measure their costs to agriculture and other sectors. It serves as a background for the economic and policy analysis developed in subsequent chapters.

  • The economics of droughts and floods in agriculture

    This chapter presents and analyses market failures related to water-related risks and their implications for public policies. It also presents the main policy and market drivers that affect the vulnerability of agriculture to droughts and floods.

  • Policy approaches for the sustainable management of droughts and floods in agriculture

    This chapter reviews and analyses policy approaches that foster efficient, resilient and sustainable management of droughts and floods in agriculture. These include water risk mitigation policies in the short- and long-term. It also reviews compensation and insurance policies, and provides elements of comparison between policy approaches of five OECD countries: Australia, Canada, France, Spain and the United Kingdom.

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