Through learnings and reflections from a water-use efficiency (WUE) pilot study, this paper examines the use of co-innovation. Led by hydrologists, this paper tracks the cycle of trust building among stakeholders, co-learning of WUE problem, co-developing of possible solutions and practices, identifying the need for capability development to overcome constraints, and finally enabling confidence among stakeholders in adapting new practices. The hydrologists built the trust among stakeholders by matching and validating stakeholders’ experiential knowledge through on-farm biophysical observations of water use (irrigation) practices. This trust allowed the stakeholder group to identify constraints to improving WUE and helped the hydrologists to devise biophysical solutions and practices that support farmers in better managing their irrigations. Observations also indicated that the process of capability development needed to take into account of farmers’ experiential knowledge and integrate a learning–practice–confirmation cycle that would boost their (farmers’) confidence in using newly acquired capability.

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