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Understanding individual and community-based adaptations to climate change: Factors influencing responses to drought
in Mexican irrigation communities

Authors: Gustavo A. García López and Sergio Villamayor Tomás



This study aims to understand the effectiveness of farmer responses to droughts as mediated by water governance factors and performance. For that purpose, the study relies on an analysis of drought impact and responses in seven Mexican irrigation systems. Data was collected and analyzed at both the community and household level through in-depth interviews and surveys, respectively. The analysis first contextualizes droughts and other climate-related events with regard to the broader spectrum of disturbances that farmers face. Next, an inventory of organization-level and individuallevel responses is followed by an exploratory assessment of the effectiveness of the latter, depending on system-level, individual-level and disturbance-level variables. The results show that farmers face multiple types of social and ecological disturbances, of which drought is the most salient but not necessarily the most important. They also underscore that farmers feel vulnerable to droughts, particularly in organizations where compliance with water allocation rules is lower. Contrary to our expectations, we did not find an association between decentralization and perceived effectiveness of farmer responses. Similarly, we found only a negative association between the dominance of communal land in the systems and effectiveness. On a related note, farmers’ economic resources and the severity of the drought was also more frequently associated with effectiveness than not.

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LACEEP's XIX Workshop

Jul 23/15

LACEEP's XIX Workshop (Mexico)

Jul 24/15

LACEEP’s XIX Workshop (Mexico)