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Cambridge Prisms: Water

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Agricultural water


Given the increasing demand for high-quality food and protein, global food security remains a challenge, particularly in the face of global change. However, since agriculture, food and water security are inextricably linked, they need to be examined via an interdisciplinary lens. Sociohydrology was introduced from a post-positivist perspective to explore and describe the bidirectional feedbacks and dynamics between human and water systems. This review situates sociohydrology in the agricultural domain, highlighting its contributions in explaining the unintended consequences of water management interventions, addressing climate change impacts due to/on agriculture and incorporating human behaviour into the description of agricultural water systems. Sociohydrology has combined social and psychological insights with novel data sources and diverse multi-method approaches to model human behaviour. However, as agriculture and agriculturalists face global change, sociohydrology can better use concepts from resilience thinking more explicitly to identify gaps in terms of desirable properties in resilient agricultural water systems, potentially informing more holistic climate adaptation policy.


© The Author(s), 2023. Published by Cambridge University Press. This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://, which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution and reproduction, provided the original article is properly cited.



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