Feed the Future
This project is part of the U.S. Government's global hunger and food security initiative.

Water Governance Scorecard

Ensuring smallholder farmers have access to reliable, fresh water is a critical livelihoods and resilience issue alongside traditional Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene considerations in the water sphere. Sustained access to fresh water is the backbone of smallholders’ ability to produce predictable yields, improve productivity, and achieve economic growth.

Effective national water governance plays a key role in the relationship between water use and agricultural productivity. System-wide challenges in the agricultural sector, such as fluctuating rainfall levels and the insufficiency of small-scale irrigation networks to meet need, require countries to adopt a smart, inclusive national water use plan rooted in sustained access rights, efficiency, and enforceability.

Speaking to this need for a holistic approach to national water management, the Feed the Future Enabling Environment for Food Security project developed the Water Governance Scorecard to highlight key legal, regulatory, and institutional gaps and opportunities in Feed the Future countries’ water governance systems. Using publicly available data on both water resources use and institutional governance, the Water Governance Scorecard provides actionable, comparable insights into country-level performance gaps and opportunities in a comprehensive, accessible format.