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An old adagium is that there is not so much shortage of water as there is shortage of water management. Understanding water productivity leads to an evidence based discussion on current water use and the implicit priorities therein.

It will help make issues on water consumption and water distribution in agriculture - the largest user - far better informed. It can uncover areas of 'significant improvement', thus freeing up water for other uses or reducing tension in case of water conflicts. For this, it is important that water productivity is widely used and recognized as important tool to measure the performance of our most important water use systems. It is also important that the acceptance of SDG 6.4 on efficient water use translates into a willingness to assess, change and distribute the benefits of higher water productivity fairly.