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Can climate-smart agriculture mitigate the Urmia Lake tragedy in its eastern basin?

Tahereh Maleki, Hossein Koohestani and Marzieh Keshavarz

Agricultural Water Management, 2022, vol. 260, issue C

Abstract: Urmia Lake, which is one of the largest hypersaline lakes in the world, has experienced an excessive reduction of water level because of climatic change and anthropogenic influences. To mitigate this tragedy, several agricultural water management schemes have been initiated. However, many restoration programs have proven ineffective. To counter the lake’s disappearance, effective climate-smart agriculture (CSA) interventions are imperative. Nevertheless, the potential benefits, opportunities, risks, costs and incentive mechanisms of CSA interventions have not been well documented. Therefore, this qualitative research was performed in the eastern part of the Urmia Lake basin to identify the best CSA intervention for restoration of the lake and investigate the major drivers of CSA development. Using the “benefits, opportunities, risks, and costs” method, 14 influential factors were explored. Also, fuzzy VIKOR analysis indicated an urgent need of developing water-smart agriculture (WSA) in the Urmia Lake basin, where water scarcity, poor water governance and low water use efficiency are significant problems. Interpretive structural modeling and MICMAC analysis suggested that policy making and planning, research and development, monitoring and evaluation, education and extension services, supports and services, institutions and degree of their collaborations, knowledge and attitude, and infrastructures and farm structures can enhance the application of WSA interventions. Some recommendations and implications are offered to facilitate the adoption and development of WSA practices and technologies.

Keywords: Water-smart agriculture; Adoption; Drivers; Fuzzy VIKOR; Interpretive structural modeling; MICMAC (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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DOI: 10.1016/j.agwat.2021.107256

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