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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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Ecosystems / WEFE Nexus

Journal Paper // A Decision Support Tool to Enhance Agricultural Growth in the Mékrou River Basin (West Africa)

By Angel Udiasa, Marco Pastoria, Céline Dondeynaza, Cesar Carmona Moreno, Abdou Ali, Luigi Cattaneo, Javier Cano. This paper describes the implementation of E-Water, an open software Decision Support System (DSS), designed to help local managers assess the Water Energy Food Environment (WEFE) nexus. E-Water aims at providing optimal management solutions to enhance food crop production at river basin level. The DSS was applied in the transboundary Mékrou river basin, shared among Benin, Burkina...

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Climate Change

Review Article // Climate Change Adaptation through the Water-Energy-Food Nexus in Southern Africa

By Sylvester Mpandeli, Dhesigen Naidoo, Tafadzwanashe Mabhaudhi, Charles Nhemachena, Luxon Nhamo, Stanley Liphadzi, Sithabile Hlahla and Albert T. Modi. Climate change is a complex and cross-cutting problem that needs an integrated and transformative systems approach to respond to the challenge. This review highlights climate change impacts on water, energy, and food resources in southern Africa, while exploring mitigation and adaptation opportunities. The review further recommends strategies to...

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Policy Papers

Resource Use Efficiency under Growing Natural Resource Scarcity // Research Guide for Water-Energy-Food Nexus Analysis

By Claudia Ringler, Md. Hossain Alam Mondal, Helen Berga Paulos, Alisher Mirzabaev, Clemens Breisinger, Manfred Wiebelt, Khalid Siddig, Grace Villamor, Tingju Zhu, Elizabeth Bryan. Insights from “The Water-Energy-Food Nexus: Global, Basin and Local Case Studies of Resource Use Efficiency under Growing Natural Resource Scarcity” project.

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