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Solar-powered Irrigation Systems (SPIS)

SPIS // Mapping the Suitability of Solar Energy-based Irrigation Pumps in Ethiopia

In recent years, the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) has worked to improve food security, nutrition and livelihoods in rural communities in Ethiopia by increasing the value and effectiveness of agricultural water management through small-scale irrigation. However, while the potential to benefit from small-scale irrigation appears significant, it is constrained by access to the energy sources needed to pump water and the limited opportunities for gravity-fed small-scale irrigation systems.

Electricity is rarely available to farmers on small, dispersed plots and high fuel costs mean that smallholder farmers cannot rely on diesel or petrol pumps for lifting surface water and shallow groundwater. Building on this, a recent IWMI study determined that solarpowered irrigation pumps offer an inexpensive and effective alternative to electric and fuel-based pumps, enabling farmers to overcome energy-related access and cost constraints to expanding irrigation. The technology also reduces greenhouse gas emissions and is, therefore, considered a climatesmart technology. To ensure the feasibility of solar-powered irrigation, researchers also tested a new methodology for mapping the suitability of solar irrigation throughout Ethiopia.

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CGIAR website

Published

October 2018

By

International Water Management Institute

The International Water Management Institute (IWMI) is a non-profit, scientific research organization focusing on the sustainable use of water and land resources in developing countries. IWMI works in partnership with governments, civil society and the private sector to develop scalable agricultural water management solutions that have a real impact on poverty reduction, food security and ecosystem health. Headquartered in Colombo, Sri Lanka, with regional offices across Asia and Africa, IWMI is a CGIAR Research Center and leads the CGIAR Research Program on Water, Land and Ecosystems (WLE).

Further reading on Ethiopia

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Solar-powered Irrigation Systems (SPIS)

Nexus Publicación // Manual de Capacitación Equipo Móvil de Bombeo Solar

Desarrollar y fortalecer capacidades de asesoramiento técnico y formulación de proyectos de agua, energía solar y producción de alimentos, en personal técnico del sector público y privado, así como en familias campesinas mediante su formación práctica utilizando un Equipo Móvil de Bombeo Solar demostrativo. La publicación1 de la Caja de herramientas de sistemas de riego solar ha sido posible gracias al apoyo brindado por la iniciativa mundial PAEGC. En 2012, la Agencia de los Estados Unidos para...

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Research

WEF Nexus Publication // Applying the Water-Energy-Food Nexus Approach to Catalyse Transformational Change in Africa

RES4Africa Foundation’s new study carried out in collaboration with Open Economics, looks at a WEF nexus project in rural Tanzania integrating hydro-powered mini-grid and agri-business usages that distributes water, power and food services to the surrounding communities. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects that the innovative Nexus project can have on a specific area. In doing this, a microeconomic impact assessment was developed to evaluate economic, social and environmental costs...

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Governance

WEF Nexus Research // Solar Energy Farming as a Development Innovation for Vulnerable Water Basins

By Mohammad Al-Saidi and Nisreen Lahham. This article evaluates a project from the Azraq Basin in Jordan, and presents similar international experiences, particularly from India. It assesses solar energy farming as an innovation from a water-energy-food nexus perspective.

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