Releasing the Pressure: Water Resource Efficiencies and Gains for Ecosystem Services

United Nations Environment Programme / by P. Keys,  J. Barron and M. Lannerstad

[Stockholm Environment Institute] [A new UNEP report] urges policymakers and resource managers to shift from the traditional focus on water productivity per unit of agricultural yield (“more per crop drop”), to a broader view that includes ecosystems services.

Such an approach would consider the value of water regulation and purification, pollination, erosion control and other ecosystem services that can be adversely affected when water is siphoned off from rivers or streams, or drained from marshes, for agricultural use.Preview

“Assessing water productivity narrowly – for example, by simply looking at crop, fodder and forest produce – will continue to under-value the role of water for wider society and the economy,” says UN Under-Secretary-General and UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner.

“Recognising the wider benefits generated by water, for example nutrient flows, cooling, providing habitats, and other supporting and regulating ecosystem services, is the aim of our work, says Steiner…


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