Climate Smart Agriculture Sourcebook

Water management for Climate-Smart Agriculture

Production and Resources

Creating an enabling context and removing barriers for adoption of climate-smart water management

In developing countries, programmes designed to promote sustainable water management that can lead to the successful adoption of climate change adaptation practices face a number of barriers. In most cases, the potential exists to implement sustainable water management practices to adapt to climate change, improve the livelihood situation of rural communities and promote sustainable practices. However, achieving these goals demands that a certain set of conditions be put in place to remove constraints and build resilience and flexibility (FAO, 2011b). Some of these conditions include improvements in land tenure and secure access to water; strengthened and more collaborative land and water institutions; efficient support services (e.g knowledge exchange services, adaptive research, rural finance); and changes in incentive frameworks that remove ineffective subsidies and focus on incentives that promote resilience, improve productivity and induce sustainable behaviours.

Climate change adaptation must be mainstreamed in both rural development and water scarcity programmes (FAO, 2011a; FAO, 2011b), not carried out on a separate track. Water, land, energy and food policies must become more aligned and viewed through the perspective of climate change. In particular, agriculture and rural development goals must be brought into water planning, and take into consideration other water-use sectors. Links must also be made with disaster risk management strategies, which are in a large part directly related to water management (see Module C5 on disaster risk reduction).