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Individual farmer investments have the potential to fill the gap in public investments and be more cost-effective than large-scale irrigation. However, this development primarily occurs outside of formal systems. Water depletion and declining water quality in some areas of Africa and Southeast Asia suggest the need for careful planning and monitoring of small-scale irrigation to support resilience and avoid maladaptation. ILSSI research partners sought to support decision-makers to understand where and how water can be sustainably used by small-scale irrigators, employing and strengthening capacity for tools to manage competing demands and mitigate the risks to water security. Research partnerships also guided organizations and companies to deploy solar irrigation technologies based on biophysical and socio-economic suitability. Working with farmers, water users, and extension services, the project aimed to improve on-farming water management practices and engage communities to help safeguard water resources.