Research article // Critical review on improving irrigation water use efficiency: Advances, challenges, and opportunities in the Ethiopia context
By Daniel G., Eshete, Berhanu G., Sinshaw, Kassaye G. Legese. The objective of this paper is to review and put together issues related to advances, challenges, and available opportunities for improving irrigation water use efficiency and highlight possible practical applications in Ethiopia.
Improved tertiary and field canals Adopted from Charles (2018).
- In Ethiopia, agriculture is the dominant activity to sustain the rural community’s life and basic needs.
- Irrigation consumes much amount of water extracted from various sources, and hence efficient water use and management are the major concerns.
- The aim of this paper is to review the advancements, challenges and opportunities improving irrigation water use efficiency in Ethiopia.
- Irrigation in Ethiopia is started in the 1950s with a traditional irrigation system.
- Challenges that hiders’ water use efficiency improvement includes crop disease, socio-economic factor, institution and policy-related, technical and human capacity, lack of input, market and nature related.
- The future is likely to see increased use of remote sensing more versatile sensors, simulation and models to improve water use efficiency.
- A clear organizational setup is required to improve the functionality of small scale irrigation schemes and at last increase WUE.
- The Ethiopian government has to build strong institutional arrangements to improve coordination between institutions working on irrigation development.
The demand for freshwater is constantly increasing among all water users. Irrigation in Ethiopia consumes a large amount of water extracted from various sources. Hence, efficient water use and management are currently the major concerns in the country. Thus this paper aims to review the advancements, challenges, and opportunities regarding improving irrigation water use efficiency in Ethiopia. Irrigation in Ethiopia started in the 1950s with traditional irrigation systems. Now modern irrigation, including sprinkler and drip irrigation, is practised in some parts of the country. The review showed that even though the farmers have been practising irrigation for a long time, still they cannot surpass subsistence farming. Furthermore, improvements in irrigation water use efficiency through proper scheduling and on-farm management are not satisfactory. The paper revealed the challenges that hinder water use efficiency improvement includes crop diseases, socio-economic factors, institution and policy-related issues, limitation in technical and human capacity, lack of agricultural input as well as market and nature-related factors. In the future, increased use of remote sensing techniques, more versatile sensors, simulation, and quantitative models are likely to be seen to improve water use efficiency. In most cases where water is saved as a result of the efficient use of technologies, the spare water ends up being used to expand the irrigation area, which results in an increased income for the household. Hence, to achieve net water savings, water-efficient technologies and practices need to be used in combination with other measures such as incentives for conservation and proper use. Besides, appropriate regulations should be set that limit water allocation and usage. The government and partners should allocate resources for capacity building of farmers regarding irrigation, which in extension will lead to enhancement in WUE.
Water use efficiency; Ethiopia; Challenges; Opportunities
Eshete, D. G., Sinshaw, B. G., & Legese, K. G. (2020). Critical review on improving irrigation water use efficiency: Advances, challenges, and opportunities in the Ethiopia context. Water-Energy Nexus, 3, 143–154. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.wen.2020.09.001
Critical review on improving irrigation water use efficiency: Advances, challenges, and opportunities in the Ethiopia context
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