Climate Change, Water and Agriculture

Towards Resilient Systems

image of Climate Change, Water and Agriculture

This report reviews the main linkages between climate change, water and agriculture as a means to identifying and discussing adaptation strategies for better use and conservation of water resources. It aims to provide guidance to decision makers on choosing an appropriate mix of policies and market approaches to address the interaction between agriculture and water systems under climate change.

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Executive summary

Water is a central issue of adaptation to climate change in agriculture. Agricultural production depends critically on how climatic variables such as precipitation and temperatures vary across regions and over time. The effects of climate change on agriculture occur through crop water requirements, availability and quality of water, and other factors, which are affected by both long-term gradual change and extreme events, and across a range of scales from local to regional to continental. Moreover, climate is not only changing but is becoming non-stationary, meaning that expectations can no longer be based only on past observations.

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