Water management proves to be a difficult task for communities all over the world. Reacting to this issue, Foundation for Ecological Security, Universidad de los Andes, and Arizona State University joined forces. They created an innovative way of using games to teach about collective water use.
CGIAR Research Program on Water, Land and Ecosystems‘ main objective is to help resolve water management problems in local communities.
On IFPR blog you can read that:
The success of a farmer’s crops and the availability of water for all farmers depend on the decisions and actions of the whole community. Water management requires people to work together to use this resource carefully and judiciously, but such collective action rarely happens.
Games‘ main purpose is to measure collective water management in India and Colombia and then to improve it.
By simulating real-life situations, the games can provide solutions for actual issues:
In India, for example, groups of five men and five women from each village must choose what to grow throughout a year’s seasons with an eye toward their chosen crops’ water requirements. If growing strategies use too much groundwater, the game ends.
Resolving similar problems is very important. Especially in the context of many issues connected to lack of access to sufficient water supply:
(…) poor water management is linked to water scarcity and degradation, low agricultural productivity, and poor nutrition and health outcomes. If successful, this study will provide an important new tool for strengthening collective action not only for water management but for other resources as well.