As climate change adaptation is becoming a recognized policy issue, the need is growing for quantitative economic evaluation of adaptation-related public investment, particularly in the context of climate finance. Irrigation, which enhances and stabilizes water supplies for farming, is a potential means of climate change adaptation, but attempts at economic evaluation of its effectiveness as an adaptation measure are few, in part because such assessments require an integration of various types of simulation analyses. Against this background, we conduct a case study of a Kenyan irrigation development project using a combination of simulation models to evaluate the effectiveness of that project for climate change adaptation. The results show that despite the uncertainties in precipitation trends, increased temperatures due to climate change have a general tendency to reduce rice yields, and that irrigation development will mitigate income impacts from the yield loss, i.e., will likely be effective as a means for climate change adaptation.
Keywords: climate change adaptation, economic assessment, irrigation, agriculture, downscaling, runoff analysis, Africa