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Compendium on methods and tools to evaluate impacts of, and vulnerability and adaptation to, climate change

Agroclimatic Water Stress Mapping
Description The agroclimatic water stress mapping tool provides a global, near real-time warning of current and future agricultural emergencies indicating areas where excess or deficit rainfall is likely to produce serious damage to rainfed agriculture or pastures. Furthermore, the tool can use seasonal forecast data to produce maps identifying the probability of water deficit or surplus conditions in the coming months.
Appropriate Use Global assessment of current and future areas with excess and deficit rainfall allows early warning for the on-going growing season.
Scope Global, agricultural sector.
Key Output Digital water stress maps by comparing actual and average monthly precipitation digital maps at 0.5° of resolution during the periods when agricultural activities are more “sensitive” to water stress.
Key Input Long-term average rainfall. Long-term temperature and potential evapotranspiration to identify the regions with active growing seasons. Real-time rainfall data provided by the German Weather service (DWD). Real-time seasonal forecast provided by DEMETER project.
Ease of Use Centralized server driven by FAO, the water stress maps can be downloaded from the FAO website (see documentation). There is no stand-alone version available.
Training Required None
Training Available None
Computer Requirements None
Documentation See
Applications Drought and flood monitoring over agricultural areas. Currently, internal use by FAO for global assessments of water stress. See also:
Contacts for Framework, Documentation, Technical Assistance René Gommes, Michele Bernardi

Environment, Climate Change and Bioenergy Division (NRC), FAO, Viale delle Terme di Caracalla, 00153 Rome, Italy; e-mails:,
Cost None
References See