In water-scarce regions of the world, water-saving technology adoption augments farm productivity. But so does social capital. In this paper, the issue of ensuring livelihood for farmers through the combined use of social capital and water-saving technology is modeled in the context of repeated droughts. The model presented here derives optimal resource conservation and accumulation strategies when the farmer must ensure minimum consumption during a set of repeated drought events in the future. Findings indicate that the path to drought resilience presents a complex trade-off between accumulating one form of capital over another and is influenced by farmers' wealth and water endowments, level of risk associated with the repeated droughts and the duration of the repeated drought event that the farmer plans to survive. A higher risk of repeated droughts leads to an increase in groundwater conservation efforts but delays technology adoption. Lower water endowments may also delay adoption and reduce social capital, however, a lower social capital or a slow rate of its growth is not a hindrance to adopting water-saving technology earlier. Finally, social capital evolves to higher levels when farmer is simultaneously faced with a higher level of risks and a longer span of drought events. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.