Building the future by doing more together

TRADWATER – Use of traditional knowledge to attain water sustainable management under different climate change scenarios
Coordinator - Celeste Coelho
Programme - POCI 2010
Execution dates - 2005-10-01 - 2008-09-29 (36 Months)
Funding Entity - FCT
Funding for CESAM - 60956 €
Total Funding - 90000 €
Proponent Institution -

The main aim of this proposal is to study the traditional irrigation systems and how they respond to unusual climate conditions in order to forecast problems and draw alleviation strategies. Traditional systems are more prone to climate change. Therefore, the way traditional societies respond to water crisis is a unique case study to learn how to face changes in water availability following foreseen global changes. This proposal aims to identify techniques and organizational solutions that will allow a better water crisis management. The ultimate objective is to promote adaptation strategies and mitigation techniques based on the traditional water management knowledge.
The use of traditional irrigation systems is still important in the marginal areas, where forest and agricultural activities are still important. These systems result from an ancient culture and are an important case study for the sustainability of local productive activities.
The project starts by the inventory of traditional and modern irrigation management systems, and the identification of threats that traditional water management techniques face in a changing environment, (i.e. climatic change, changes in the social and economic structure and the introduction of new farming techniques). Strategies to mitigate and adapt to change will be evaluated under a participatory process, to prepare the rural societies living in marginal agricultural areas for the change.
Fresh water availability will be assessed against a set of meteorological and environmental data, to create a database, which will be used to build feasible global change scenarios. An assessment of water consumption will be made for the same scenarios, which will be taken from the scientific literature. This includes field measurements of crops’ water consumption. A further dimension will be the analysis of legislation, policies, plans and programmes in order to assess the extent, to which they are prepared to face global change, and what instruments they use to mitigate and adapt to the negative impacts of global change scenarios.
A perception survey will be made, involving the stakeholders that will be exposed to the global change scenarios. This will be made through inquires, structured interviews and participatory workshops where all the stakeholders will have an equal opportunity to express their views, interests and solutions. This will be the basis for the establishment of a participatory strategy to adapt and mitigate the negative impacts of global change.
The impacts of societal response to global change, either through technological or organizational changes will be evaluated in terms of efficiency and water availability. The different solutions will be discussed with the stakeholders and key actors.
It is expected that TRADWATER will contribute actively to the definition of strategies to mitigate and adapt to changes on water amount and demand as a result of global change.

Members on this project

António Ferreira
Celeste Coelho

CESAM Funding: