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Guidelines | August 28, 2015

Pocket Guide 3: Managing Water Resources

This pocket guide is written for you, the field agent working in agricultural extension. The concepts, information and practices in this guide are meant to support your work with farm families and to help reduce their risks from weather changes. Many of the families who farm small, unirrigated plots in the tropics already struggle against poverty, degraded land, and rainfall that varies from year to year. This type of farming, sometimes called rainfed agriculture, is especially vulnerable to climate change. The suggestions in the guide can be used to help farm families make changes that will help their farms withstand bad weather by adapting to it. It also include practical methods that meet the objectives that the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization outlined for climate‑smart agriculture:

  • Ways to increase agricultural productivity sustainably – practices that produce while protecting the environment.
  • Farm practices for individual farm families and groups of families to improve their resilience to climate change.
  • Practices that can reduce some of the causes of climate change decrease greenhouse gases to avoid contributing to further changes in the climate.
  • Information to help rural families take advantage of opportunities that climate change may present.

Preparing Smallholder Farm Families to Adapt to Climate Change is a set of complementary guides including:

  • The role of agricultural extension and advisory services in adaptation
  • Managing crops
  • Managing water resources
  • Managing soils

The adaptation pocket guides follow a general four-step approach developed by Catholic Relief Services for designing and implementing responses to climate change to help reduce the vulnerability of small-scale farming systems. These steps are:

  • Understanding concepts: the effects of climate change on each guide’s focus area.
  • Assessing climate change risks for each theme and appraising agricultural vulnerability.
  • Recommending practices for adaptation.
  • Mobilizing community planning and action for adaptation.



  • Introduction: Purpose and Content 

  • Part 1: Understanding concepts

  • Part 2: Assessing climate change risks for water and appraising agriculture vulnerability

  • Part 3: Recommending practices for water adaptation through improved management

  • Part 4: Mobilizing community action and planning to adapt to climate change

  • Glossary

  • References