Overview

Water is an important resource for agriculture. The quantity of water provided by rainfall and stored in streams and ponds affects the income of farmers and can change how farmers use land and manage resources. These management changes may  have feedback effects on the local climate and the river and stream network. This project investigates whether and which farmers adapt their production systems when they experience water variability, what adaptations they make, and whether these adaptations reduce income losses when droughts occur. In particular, we are interested in the impacts of  "green water" (soil moisture) and "blue water" (surface/ground water) on farmer production and land-use. We also examine how the conversion of forests to pasture affects the regional climate and flows of water throughout the landscape. Improved understanding of these feedbacks will inform efforts by government agencies and civil society to help farmers respond to water scarcity and build more resilient livelihoods.

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