The costs of adaptation: changes in water availability and farmers' responses in Punakha district, Bhutan

Kusters, Koen and Wangdi, Norbu, (2013). The costs of adaptation: changes in water availability and farmers' responses in Punakha district, Bhutan. International Journal of Global Warming, 5(4), 387-399

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  • Sub-type Journal article
    Author Kusters, Koen
    Wangdi, Norbu
    Title The costs of adaptation: changes in water availability and farmers' responses in Punakha district, Bhutan
    Appearing in International Journal of Global Warming
    Volume 5
    Issue No. 4
    Publication Date 2013
    Place of Publication Amsterdam
    Publisher Inderscience
    Start page 387
    End page 399
    Language eng
    Abstract

    There is growing evidence that monsoon patterns are changing in the Himalayan region, which could potentially result in loss and damage for local farmers. To understand how farmers adapt to changes in water availability, we conducted a study in Punakha district, Bhutan, using qualitative and quantitative research tools. According to 91% of 273 respondents, water availability for rice irrigation has been decreasing over the last 20 years due to changing rainfall. Most of them have taken measures in response. They may, for example, invest in the maintenance of irrigation channels, develop or modify water-sharing mechanisms, or shift to crops that need less water than rice. Of these farmers, however, 88% indicate that their adaptation measures are insufficient. Moreover, they come with extra costs. We argue that these costs should not only be conceived in monetary terms, but also in terms of time investment, social-cohesion and livelihood security.

    Copyright Holder Inderscience Enterprises Ltd.
    Copyright Year 2013
    Copyright type All rights reserved
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