Alternatives exist to mitigate adverse effects of irrigation development. Some of them are listed below:
- locating the irrigation project on the site where negative impacts are minimized;
- improving the efficiency of existing projects and restoring degraded croplands to use rather than establishing a new irrigation project;
- developing small-scale, individually-owned irrigation systems as an alternative to large-scale, publicly-owned and managed schemes;
- using sprinkler irrigation and micro-irrigation systems to decrease the risk of waterlogging, erosion and inefficient water use;
- using treated wastewater, where appropriate, to make more water available to other users;
- maintaining flood flows downstream of the dams to ensure that an adequate area is flooded each year, among other reasons, for fishery activities.