"Waterapps - Water Information Services for Peri-urban Agriculture"

Introduction

Water for agriculture in peri-urban delta areas is vital to safeguard sustainable food production. Due to dynamics of urbanisation in deltas and climate change, water availability (too much, not enough, too late or early) is becoming erratic and farmers cannot rely only on their own experience anymore to plan farming operations. The Waterapps research program aims to develop tailor made water information services with and for farmers in peri-urban areas in the urbanising deltas of Accra, Ghana and Khulna, Bangladesh to improve water and food security in river deltas.

Waterapps will achieve its objectives through three interconnected research components:

  1. Combining mobile information technology (like apps) with latest insights on knowledge sharing;
  2. Integrating weather model results with observations of groundwater trends and river flows;
  3. Attuning knowledge about adaptive decision making and enabling governance structures to local situations.

The resulting insights will be used to co-create and test water information services, consisting of knowledge sharing platforms and virtual communities.

The Waterapps consortium brings together a diverse range of organisations, including universities, businesses partners including private sector, public authorities and local institutions in Ghana and Bangladesh. The program is funded by Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) and is coordinated by the Water Systems and Global Change group at Wageningen University. 

In 2015 the Waterapps consortium has organised workshops with key actors (farmers, governance actors and ICT professionals) in both areas. These stakeholders have contributed to this proposal and are committed to engage in the proposed research and innovation process. The co-production of water information services with local farmers will empower and improve livelihoods of small/medium farmers and build capacity for enhancing sustainable food production. Furthermore it will result in a business case by delivering design principles for viable farmer-oriented water information services in other urban-rural delta zones in the developing world.

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