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Water Issue Brief | Water Storage

Published by:
Publication date
Number of Pages
Type of Publication:
Working Papers & Briefs
Focus Region:
Asia and the Pacific
Focus Topic:
Land / Water / Resource Management
Type of Risk:
Biological & environmental
Type of Risk Managment Option:
Risk coping
International Water Management Institute (IWMI)

Rainfall variability is a key constraint to agricultural production and economic growth in many developing countries. This is likely to be exacerbated in many places as rainfall variability is amplified as a result of climate change. Water storage, in its various forms, provides a mechanism for dealing with variability which, if planned and managed correctly, increases water security, agricultural productivity and adaptive capacity.

Key messages

  • Water storage can make an important contribution to safeguarding livelihoods and reducing rural poverty.
  • Ill-conceived water storage is a waste of financial resources and, rather than mitigate, may aggravate unpleasant climate change impacts.
  • Systems that combine complementary storage options are likely to be more adaptable and acceptable than those based on a single storage type.
  • More systematic planning and management is required to ensure ‘no regrets’ solutions.