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Vulnerability of a Run-of-River Irrigation Scheme to Extreme Hydrological Conditions - A Case Study of the Bwanje Valley Irrigation Scheme, Malawi

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Title: Vulnerability of a Run-of-River Irrigation Scheme to Extreme Hydrological Conditions - A Case Study of the Bwanje Valley Irrigation Scheme, Malawi
Author: Johnstone, James
Department: School of Environmental Design and Rural Development
Program: Rural Planning and Development
Advisor: FitzGibbon, John
Abstract: Irrigation plays an extremely important role in agriculture but climate change is predicted to modify climate patterns with potentially devastating consequences for irrigation. Potential impacts and adaptations are known, but not how implementation strategies may be implemented at the individual irrigation scheme level. Using a case study approach and qualitative research methods this thesis describes the Bwanje Valley Irrigation Scheme (BVIS), Malawi in order to explain how water is managed. Subsequently, historical adaptations are described in order to draw conclusions concerning the vulnerability of the BVIS under normal and extreme hydrological conditions. The BVIS is vulnerable in all conditions because it utilizes a common pool resource. As water supply decreases, irrigation water management becomes less and less equitable which makes the system extremely sensitive to changes in water supply. Capacity to adapt to climate change is limited to funding provided by external agencies which currently limit adaptations to reactive changes
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10214/3008
Date: 2011-09
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