WP3 « Anthropogenic dynamic » (S. Darwish et M. Montginoul)


This WP aims at analysing anthropogenic dynamics unfolding in the coupled transformation of agriculture and water resources. The objective of this WP is to better understand the drivers of land use change and how any intervention (e.g. canal lining, water harvesting…) on the hydrological cycle alters the social distribution of access, use and benefits. It will enhance characterization of individual water extraction behaviors in response to water management and governance. Finally, a better characterization of practices will allow quantification of impacts on water use patterns in WP4. Study will be mainly based on remote sensing products for land use change and in-depth interviews with farmers, focus group discussions and institutional discourse analysis. A common methodology will be adopted to allow a comparison of situations and past and future trajectories in connection with WP5.

Proposed tasks

3.1 Assessment of land use changes and their drivers

Input: WP2 / Output: WP4-WP5

Land use, which has largely changed over the last decades, with increasing uncontrolled private irrigated areas and the expansion and intensification of arboriculture, is a key descriptor of agricultural system dynamics and of the consequent use of water resources. It will be analysed both through the use of satellite imagery and through the identification of main drivers of change (at the farm level, or pertaining to the wider economic and policy environments).

3.2 Typology of farmer strategies to cope with drought and changing patterns of access to water

Input: Farm surveys, WP6 / Output: WP4

In-depth farm surveys will document the factors driving farmers’ crop choice, including average income, labour requirements, tenure status, agronomic and market risks, water availability and pesticide use. These surveys will be conducted in selected representative sub-areas of each study site (based on criteria such as land tenure, access to water, farm size, etc.), through a questionnaire that will be harmonized across study sites. They will aim at documenting water use in agriculture and explore social and environmental heterogeneities in farm types and dynamics.

3.3 Description of water management and governance and their impacts on farmers’ strategies

Input: Stakeholders meetings / Output: WP5

Water governance study will be performed (understood as national and regional development plans, laws and regulations, role of users vs the state) and its relationships with agricultural dynamics on the field explored. We will take into account severe political inputs (Green Plan in Morocco, Tunisian revolution, refugee crisis in Lebanon, etc.) and other disruptions (climatic extreme events, price collapse, hike in energy costs, etc.), and pay attention to farm vulnerabilities.

3.4 Societal evolution of agricultural water use and equity issues

Input: Task 3.2 / Output: WP4-WP5

Agricultural water use changes as a result of various driving forces previously described. These evolutions must be well documented to better estimate the factors likely to impact future water demand. It is also important to explore whether specific types of farms are losing out or are displaced by others to address equity issues. This will be done based on the in-depth farm surveys (task 3.2), and also by comparing – when available- different surveys done on the same farmers or at a higher level with agricultural census.


  • D3.1. Land use changes: assessment and drivers in the pilot sites M12
  • D3.2. Farmers’ strategies: identification and main drivers M21
  • D3.3. Evolution of agricultural water use: what consequences in terms of equity? M24