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Table 3

Intended project outcomes, climate risks, and adaptation options for a hypothetical irrigation scheme in southeast Asia.

Project outcomesClimate risksAdaptation options
Improved efficiency and reliability of irrigation supply Change in precipitation and water (availability), increasing crop evapotranspiration (demand), change in variability, affecting system dimensions to meet peak supply (1 in 5 years) 
  • Increased irrigation capacity

  • Increased efficiency (e.g., drip irrigation)

  • Increased water storage

  • Supplementary water sources (conjunctive)

  • Improved demand-side management

 
Increased market-oriented agricultural production Agroclimatic shift and change in the dry season, risk of weather extremes, impacts on the choice of crops, timing of planting and harvest dates, crop pests, and diseases, in turn affecting crop productivity and quality 
  • Weather and seasonal climate forecasts

  • Climate-smart extension services

  • Crops or varieties with shorter growing cycles or more resilient choices

  • Pest monitoring and management

  • ‘Tall rice’

 
Enhanced watershed ecological services Change in drought and fire risk affects headwater forests, soil/slope instability, downstream river flows 
  • Land-use zoning or buffer zones to deter encroachment into forest areas

  • Replant deforested areas with fast-growing tree species

  • Install live check dams

 
More productive rural infrastructure Physical damage to irrigation system and access roads by flash floods, erosion, and sedimentation 
  • Early warning systems

  • Water management plans

  • Increase water storage (ponds and cisterns)

  • Strengthen emergency spillways, sluice gates, site drainage

  • Increase design standard with climate uplift for key access roads

 
Project outcomesClimate risksAdaptation options
Improved efficiency and reliability of irrigation supply Change in precipitation and water (availability), increasing crop evapotranspiration (demand), change in variability, affecting system dimensions to meet peak supply (1 in 5 years) 
  • Increased irrigation capacity

  • Increased efficiency (e.g., drip irrigation)

  • Increased water storage

  • Supplementary water sources (conjunctive)

  • Improved demand-side management

 
Increased market-oriented agricultural production Agroclimatic shift and change in the dry season, risk of weather extremes, impacts on the choice of crops, timing of planting and harvest dates, crop pests, and diseases, in turn affecting crop productivity and quality 
  • Weather and seasonal climate forecasts

  • Climate-smart extension services

  • Crops or varieties with shorter growing cycles or more resilient choices

  • Pest monitoring and management

  • ‘Tall rice’

 
Enhanced watershed ecological services Change in drought and fire risk affects headwater forests, soil/slope instability, downstream river flows 
  • Land-use zoning or buffer zones to deter encroachment into forest areas

  • Replant deforested areas with fast-growing tree species

  • Install live check dams

 
More productive rural infrastructure Physical damage to irrigation system and access roads by flash floods, erosion, and sedimentation 
  • Early warning systems

  • Water management plans

  • Increase water storage (ponds and cisterns)

  • Strengthen emergency spillways, sluice gates, site drainage

  • Increase design standard with climate uplift for key access roads

 
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