On December 17, the World Bank and the World Resources Institute (WRI) hostedt a discussion based on the newest installment of the World Resources Report 2013-14: Creating a Sustainable Food Future, which is entitled Wetting and Drying: Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Saving Water from Rice Production. The paper is authored by prominent researchers at WRI, Princeton University, KIIT University, University of California at Davis, the International Rice Research Institute, and the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Rice is the world’s most dominant staple crop. Rice production also uses around 40 percent of the world’s irrigation water and generates more than 1.5 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. This paper looks at the practical challenges and opportunities of improving water management in rice production. It also examines the impact of water management techniques on rice emissions, yields and water savings. Through a series of case studies from major rice-producing countries, the paper illuminates what needs to happen to scale up adoption of these practices.

Four of the paper’s authors presented findings and recommendations and Juergen Voegele (Senior Director, Agriculture, World Bank) facilitated a discussion with authors and discussants from the World Bank and USAID.

Speakers included the following:

  • Tim Searchinger, Senior Fellow, World Resources Institute; Research Scholar, Princeton University
  • Reiner Wassmann, Climate Change Coordinator,International Rice Research Institute
  • Xiaoyuan Yan, Professor, Institute for Soil Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences
  • Bruce Linquist, Research Scientist, University of California at Davis
  • Marcus Wijnen, Senior Water Resources Management Specialist, World Bank
  • Robert Bertram, Chief Scientist, USAID Bureau for Food Security