Climate Risk Management for Water and Agriculture in the Dominican Republic: Focus on the Yaque Del Sur Basin
The Yaque del Sur watershed in the southwest of the Dominican Republic is already under severe water stress.
The population of the area is much poorer than the national average and depends on cash crops and subsistence agriculture. Cyclones, storms, floods and droughts regularly damage crops and infrastructure in the watershed. Climate change is likely to cause additional stress, as rising temperatures and decreasing precipitation will reduce water availability at a time when demand is rising due to population growth. Current coping strategies may be insufficient to deal with future climate risks. Managing climate risks in Yaque del Sur should include selecting crop varieties that use less water, climate-proofing access roads, building water reservoirs for domestic and agricultural use, establishing agroforestry and payment for ecosystem services systems to promote reforestation in the upper watershed, increasing irrigation efficiency, and improved monitoring and accessibility of climate data.