Spate irrigation is dependent on floods from seasonal rivers, and is mainly practised in arid to semi-arid climatic zones. The dependent communities need to manage the highly variable and unreliable water supply from unpredictable floods. This study analysed the water supply risks resulting from high, low, and untimely floods including their impacts on spate irrigation performance in the Gash Agriculture Scheme, Sudan. The analysis of risks and coping strategies was done at field, farm to irrigation system scales, and for different stakeholders (farmers, water managers and water user associations). The adoption and effectiveness of existing management practices was evaluated and alternative solutions were investigated that can enhance flexibility. The findings of this study contribute to scarce knowledge on spate irrigation system and provide scientifically sound and evidence-based insights to aid informed policy and decision making to improve productivity and sustainability of the spate irrigation systems.