UN tool uses satellite data to help farmers save water.

1The tool allows users to spot areas where waterClimate change is expected to exacerbate current stresses on water resources from population growth and economic and land-use change, including urbanisation. On a regional scale, mountain snow pack, glaciers and small ice caps play a crucial role in freshwater availability. Widespread mass ... is used inefficiently and take action by changing the irrigation system or switching to a more water-efficient crop

By Umberto Bacchi

ROME, April 20 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – A new Google-powered online tool that uses satellite data to map water consumption in Africa and the Middle East aims to help farmers produce more cropsA crop is any cultivated plant, fungus, or alga that is harvested for food, clothing, livestock fodder, biofuel, medicine, or other uses. with less water, the United Nations said on Thursday.

WaPOR, an open-access database developed by the U.N. Food and AgricultureCultivation of the ground and harvesting of crops and handling of livestock, the primary function is the provision of food and feed. Organisation (FAO) enables countries to easily monitor how efficiently farms use water, allowing for improvements in irrigation and food production, the agency said.

Climate changeClimate change is a lasting change in weather patterns over long periods of time. It can be a natural phenomena and and has occurred on Earth even before people inhabited it. Quite different is a current situation that is also referred to as climate change, anthropogenic climate change, or ... and a growing global population, set to reach more than 9 billion by 2050, are putting additional pressure on the world’s ever scarcer water resourcesClimate change is expected to exacerbate current stresses on water resources from population growth and economic and land-use change, including urbanisation. On a regional scale, mountain snow pack, glaciers and small ice caps play a crucial role in freshwater availability. Widespread mass ....

As agriculture is responsible for 70 percent of all water used on the planet, it will be critical to increase “crop per drop”, experts say.

“Water use continues to surge at the same time that climate change – with increasing droughtsA period of abnormally dry weather long enough to cause a serious hydrological imbalance. Drought is a relative term, therefore any discussion in terms of precipitation deficit must refer to the particular precipitation-related activity that is under discussion. For example, shortage of ... and extreme weatherExtreme weather describes weather phenomena that are at the extremes of the historical distribution, especially severe or unseasonal weather. (UKCIP) – is altering and reducing water availability for agriculture,” said FAO’s deputy director-general Maria Helena Semedo.

“That puts a premium on making every drop count,” she said in a statement.

WaPOR uses complex satellite data on weatherWeather refers to the state of the atmosphere with regard to temperature, cloudiness, rainfall, wind, and other meteorological conditions. (UKCIP), temperature, soil and vegetation to calculate how much crop yield is produced per cubic metre of water consumed.

The tool allows users like governments or farmers to spot areas where water is used inefficiently and take action by changing the irrigation system or switching to a more water-efficient crop, FAO said.

“You can compare with your neighbour and say: ‘Look he is planting his wheat field one month ahead of me or using this kind of irrigation system or fertilizer and he is doing much better’,” FAO technical officer Livia Peiser, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

The projectProject is an intervention designed to achieve specific objectives within specified resources and implementation schedules, often within the framework of a broader program. (Glossary Monitoring and Evaluation Terms; MERG Monitoring & Evaluation Reference Group and UNAIDS) funded by the Netherlands went live with data on Africa and the Middle East. FAO said more detailed information on countries facing water scarcity, including Mali, Ethiopia, Jordan and Egypt, will be made available later this year.

Two thirds of the world’s population live in areas experiencing water scarcity at least one month a year, according to the United Nations.

(ReportingCorporate inventory program. A program to produce annual corporate inventories that are keeping with the principles, standards, and guidance of the GHG Protocol Corporate Standard. This includes all institutional, managerial, and technical arrangements made for the collection of data, ... by Umberto Bacchi @UmbertoBacchi, Editing by Katie Nguyen.; Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women’s rights, trafficking, property rights, climate change and resilience. Visit http://news.trust.org)

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