Farm and Ecological Resilience to Water Supply Variability
|Title||Farm and Ecological Resilience to Water Supply Variability|
|Year of Publication||2013|
|Authors||Schuster, E, Colby, BG|
|Journal||Journal of Contemporary Water Research and Education|
|Keywords||Colorado River Delta, Farm resilience, irrigation, risk management|
Water supplies are constrained in the lower Colorado River Basin in the western United States and northern Mexico by extensive agricultural use, increasing urban populations, ecosystem needs, and the pressures of climate change. Agriculture is the largest consumptive use of water, and better understanding of how farmers are managing water supply risk and adapting to unreliable water supplies can help lead to the creation of appropriate solutions for the region. Based upon original primary data collected in 2012 in the Mexicali Valley of northern Mexico, we present findings on farm households that give us a better understanding of agricultural water management and adaptation options. We build upon these results to present voluntary, market-based solutions to improve the region's ability to adapt to water supply variability. Increasing use of water markets and improving the cooperation among stakeholders are promising solutions with the potential to benefit agricultural and ecological water interests alike.