Brazil is the tropical region of the world that heated up the most during 1901-2012. Over the years, in face of the constant shocks related to the drought periods in the Brazilian semiarid region, the governments have leaned on two distinct policy responses - to fight against drought and cope with drought, the latter mainly characterized by the expansion of social technologies related to rainwater harvesting. Among those, the water reservoir called “cistern” has been changing small farmers’ lives since the early 1990s, when the discussion about “Coexistence with the Semiarid” started by the Brazilian civil society. This research focuses on the Cisterns Program, more specifically to the 2nd Water Cisterns, a social technology that aims to improve productive capacity and reinforce food security of beneficiaries. The research goals are: 1) To present the main impacts of the 2nd water cisterns in three semiarid states: Pernambuco, Bahia and Ceará and 2) To discuss the impacts of cisterns in the promotion of adaptive capacity through social learning. The conceptual theory is based on social learning and adaptive capacity, and it is argued that farmers acquire extensive knowledge about coexistence with the semiarid, which will possibly benefit them in a climate change scenario. The assessment is based on document analysis, fieldwork and open/semi-structured interviews, 39 households and five rural technical assistance workers responsible to implement the cisterns were interviewed. The findings suggest the positive impacts of 2nd water cisterns extend beyond water infrastructure, with relevance for food security and adaptive capacity through social learning activities as farmers presented an increased confidence in their own knowledge and capabilities as a result of the cisterns implementation process.
|Translated title of the contribution||2nd Water Cisterns: Social technologies promoting adaptive capacity to Brazilian family farmers|
|Number of pages||18|
|Journal||Desenvolvimento e Meio Ambiente|
|Publication status||Published - Dec 2020|