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Climate Adaptation & Water Security

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Climate Adaptation & Water Security
Climate Adaptation & Water Security

Peru has seen a sharp increase in major flooding, prolonged droughts and increasing water scarcity during dry seasons, negatively impacting agriculture, migration, conflict and economic growth. To help vulnerable communities adapt to changing conditions and increasing climate risks, USAID invests in climate and water security research and innovation to secure consistent water resource availability for the future.

Climate change and land degradation directly affect water regulating ecosystems, such as wetlands, native grasslands and mountain glaciers, decreasing water retention, predictability, and availability causing increased risk of floods, extreme droughts, erosion and landslides.  USAID helps communities, local governments and water managers adapt to changes in water availability by supporting natural infrastructure projects, advancing climate science research, and empowering local communities with sound management practices to protect and sustain their water resources.



Climate change is causing changes  in seasonal rainfall patterns, resulting in more frequent and more serious droughts and floods.  The changes impact population centers such as Lima, Peru’s capital and home to 10 million people, as well as agricultural and industrial areas.  USAID helps rehabilitate and conserve cost-effective natural infrastructure,  applying modern research and indigenous technologies, in order to manage changing patterns  in the water supply and to reduce water related risks. Activities focus on six regions –Piura, Lima, Arequipa, Moquegua, Cusco and San Martin— to build know-how and mobilize local resources to expand the use of lower-cost natural tools for water management. In Cajamarca, Ancash and Junín, USAID has worked with rural communities to implement water harvesting techniques and other practical, low-cost adaptation measures to secure their water resources.  USAID also provides technical support to municipal governments for public work projects that improve irrigation to rural communities and farmers whose livelihoods depend on stable water availability.


Adapting to climate change requires sound research.  USAID facilitates professional exchanges between Peruvian and American scientists from the Peruvian National Institute for Agrarian Innovation, the Geological Institute of Peru, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Research Service. Scientists from both countries work together to identify innovative research-based strategies to address the effects of climate change.  Peruvian postgraduate students are developing a framework and tools to support the collection, storage and access of site-specific data and knowledge necessary to support watershed rangeland management decision making. The framework will leverage (a) the Land Potential Knowledge System (LandPKS) mobile app, and (b) the Ecological Dynamics Interpretive Tool (EDIT). Equipped with reliable data, new methodologies and monitoring capabilities, USAID supports subnational governments and watershed councils to inclusively plan and manage water resources.  For example, thanks to USAID, the Academic Water Roundtable will publicize a specialized collection of water resource information within the National Council for Science, Technology and Technological Innovations (CONCYTEC) Open Access to Scientific Information for Innovation (ALICIA) database. USAID is also supporting development and use of monitoring systems across priority monitoring sites in collaboration with national and local partners and the Regional Andean Ecosystem Hydrological Monitoring Initiative’s (iMHEA) monitoring network to evaluate the effectiveness of field activities. 


Effective climate adaptation requires citizen participation.  USAID has partnered with local communities to understand the sources and threats to local water supplies and implement community-based conservation management plans. Citizens learn how to monitor, evaluate and validate results of improved climate change practices, ensuring sustainability of local conservation efforts.  Meanwhile, women in rural Peru are under-represented in community leadership and decision making, although they typically bear greater responsibility for providing water to their families.  USAID has successfully worked with communities to increase participation of women in local climate change adaptation initiatives.

Last updated: August 03, 2022

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