Water availability is a
major risk for agricultural production. This concept covers aspects relating to
our water resources as well as the pressures encountered and the actions that
can be taken to ensure the sustainable use and provision of water. The learning
objectives include aspects related to the water balance, wetland types and
ecosystem services, water movement in the landscape, ecosystem drivers and
impacts as well as the sustainable use of water. There is a mutual interaction between land use and water. The challenges range from too little water (drought) to too much water (floods). Therefore, sustainable agricultural practices need to incorporate water availability and the efficient use of water by understanding the water balance of a catchment. Water that comes in (precipitation, subsurface inflow), water that goes out (evapotranspiration, stream flow and subsurface outflow) and water in storage (surface storage, subsurface storage). Wetlands play an important role in climate change mitigation and adaptation. They form part of ecological infrastructure that are important for socio-economic development and for securing the quantity and quality of water and for biodiversity. Wetlands also deliver valuable goods and services (i.e. ecosystem services) which benefit people, such as water and carbon storage; flood control; groundwater replenishing; sediment and nutrient retention and export; water purification; soil formation; wetland products; reservoirs for biodiversity; cultural values; recreational and tourism.