Adaptation solutions in water, cropping and policy ideas

Governments, businesses and citizens will need to be supported in the adaptation planning with new innovations in technology, policies and information to bring about the required changes in behavior and practices. The work of ICBA scientists in natural resources management and crop diversification provide important insight for decision-makers.

Changes in water availability will lead to increased water allocation stresses. So adaptation measures that bring increased efficiency are particularly important. Better irrigation scheduling and management of quantities used is an area that can bring much needed water saving. Through sensors linked to satellite images and modeling, scientists at ICBA show how agribusinesses and small farmers can save water and energy in the cropping systems. Other work on using non-conventional water as part of the water resources system is also giving important insight on alternatives to be supported in adaptation planning.

There are also important innovations in developing and testing different crops that can be grown in increasingly dry or saline conditions as a result of a changing climate. By working with local national agricultural research systems (NARS), the various options for crop species can be tested and then linked to economic modeling; social surveys and developments in seed production systems can be scaled up to support climate change adaptation planning.

Information on innovation is also important to support decision-making and research in the countries. The development of the MAWRED knowledge hub, which not only provides data on current climates but also on likely conditions under climate change in future, will help to outline strategies to adapt and mitigate the impact of climate change. The data is readily downloadable and can be used by anyone to develop an understanding of the impacts in a plethora of different areas, or tasked with devising climate change adaptation strategies for countries, businesses or communities. ICBA’s economic and social scientists are also working with stakeholders in supporting their work in developing future policies, particularly in vulnerable areas.