Measuring Water’s Contribution to Regenerative Agriculture


While commitments to regenerative agriculture are increasing, the contribution and relationship to water is not well understood at the peril of creating aspirational but unattainable goals. This session will explore the opportunity that water-related metrics can bring to the real-world contextualization of regenerative agriculture.

Session Description

Transitioning to sustainable food systems will require a considerable shift in how food is produced. Doing this within increasing constraints due to climate change and other societal challenges requires careful and considered planning. Regenerative agriculture (RA) is increasingly seen as a key part of the solution and has support from a growing number of actors in the agriculture sector.

While support is steadily growing, limited clarity exists with regards to the connection between water, soil and RA. This is an important gap that needs addressing or there will be considerable risks to contextualising RA to real world situations in a changing climate and where water is increasingly scarce.

This session seeks to better understand the linkages between water, soil health and RA. It will do this by outlining the potential pitfalls linked to the missed connection to water both as an input and in terms of its contribution to achieving RA goals. Examples from productive landscapes where work is underway to measure these connections will be presented and the needs and opportunities for replication associated to these real-world cases examined. A discussion will then take place focused around policy priorities and


16:00    Opening and Welcome

16:05    Setting the scene, James Dalton (IUCN)

16:10    Soil health in regenerative agriculture for improved hydrologic function, Leigh Winowiecki (ICRAF, CA4SH)

16:20    Water metrics for agriculture, Stuart Orr (WWF)

16:30    Panel discussion – Moderated by Chris Magero (IUCN)

  • Michael Alexander, Diageo
  • Günter Engelits, Austrian Development Agency
  • Tess Hayes, WBCSD
  • Hakam Mandouri, IUCN Regional Office for West Asia
  • Francescah Munyi, KOFAR
  • Anna Tengberg, SIWI

17:00    Interactive discussion around solutions to strengthen the link between water management and regenerative agriculture

17:25    Next steps and closing


Center for International Forestry Research
International Union for Conservation of Nature
World Agroforestry Centre
World Wide Fund for Nature

Time: 4 5

Location: In-Person and Virtual

Date: Wednesday, August 23, 2023