The Water and Climate Program addresses the challenge of efficient, sustainable water use to support agricultural production, in a context of increasingly uncertain climate, competition from other sectors, and declining water quality.
The Program works to improve agricultural water management through innovative technical and policy approaches under three main themes: improving access to and outcomes from irrigation; sustainable use of groundwater in agriculture; and risks and opportunities for safe productive use of low-quality water.
Climate change represents an acute threat to global food security and poverty eradication, and ACIAR’s research aims to build adaptive capacity and reduce vulnerability of smallholder agricultural systems. The Water and Climate Program works with partner countries to improve monitoring and reporting of agricultural greenhouse gas emissions to identify realistic options for emissions reduction and avoidance in the agricultural sector.
In South Asia, the Water and Climate Program coordinates ACIAR activities through the DFAT Sustainable Development Investment Portfolio, focusing on sustainable intensification and diversification of food systems in the Eastern Gangetic Plain, examining the technical, policy and social dimensions of widespread agricultural change.
The Water and Climate Program’s main geographic focus is South Asia (Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Pakistan) and southern Africa (Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania and Zimbabwe). New projects are under development in Southeast Asia and the Pacific.
Research Program Manager: Dr Robyn Johnston