Integrated Rain Water Management Strategies in the Blue Nile Basin of the Ethiopian Highlands Birhanu Z. Birhanu, Matthew ...
Introduction- Background <ul><li>Ethiopian highlands of the Blue Nile Basin; </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Have enormous agricultu...
Common Problems and Results  <ul><li>Land degradation and water scarcity </li></ul><ul><li>Poor land management practices ...
Major goal of RWM <ul><li>Improving the resilience of rural communities, </li></ul><ul><li>Contributing to poverty reducti...
Existing Practices of RWM in Ethiopia <ul><li>Traditional RWH techniques,  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Runoff farming closely re...
Cntd..Existing Practices of RWM in Ethiopia <ul><li>Protecting forested areas and reducing soil erosion by building terrac...
Research Sites <ul><li>In areas (called “study landscapes”) representing dominant agro-ecological zones and farming system...
Cntd.. Research Sites  Diga/ Dapo watershed Diga  In the lowland maize is the dominant crop followed by sorghum, millet & ...
Guiding Principles towards effective RWM Strategies <ul><ul><li>the full range of water storage options in catchments need...
Cntd.. Guiding Principles towards..  <ul><li>Series of rigorous watershed development activities need to be practiced at m...
<ul><li>Planting trees and grasses to stabilize  </li></ul><ul><li>waterways and provide fodder and fuel wood </li></ul><u...
Applications of RWM through watershed development approach:-   Building hydraulic structures & management <ul><li>The thre...
Continuous Contour Trenches (CCT) or hillside terraces <ul><li>The technology avoids the use of stones in farmlands and ha...
<ul><ul><li>Stone/Soil  bunds </li></ul></ul>Stone Bunds across the slope Photo from INDIA  <ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Is widely ...
<ul><li>Vegetation bunds and plantation along CCTs </li></ul>Vegetation Bunds and plantations along CCTs Photo from INDIA ...
<ul><ul><li>Biophysical measures integrated with area  </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>enclosures </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ar...
Drainage Line Treatments <ul><li>Has to begin from the top of the watershed </li></ul><ul><li>Series of gully plugs and ea...
Agro-forestry system and Pasture development <ul><li>Include growing of various crops (perennial trees and shrubs with ann...
Conclusions and Recommendations <ul><li>Implementation of successful RWM strategy through watershed development approaches...
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Integrated rain water management strategies in the Blue Nile Basin of the Ethiopian Highlands

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Presented by Birhanu Z. Birhanu, Matthew P. McCartney, Bharat Sharma, Joshua Ogunwole, Gerba Leta and Seleshi B. Awlachew at the International Conference on Ecosystem Conservation and Sustainable Development, Ambo University, Ethiopia, 10-12 February 2011.

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Integrated rain water management strategies in the Blue Nile Basin of the Ethiopian Highlands

  1. 1. Integrated Rain Water Management Strategies in the Blue Nile Basin of the Ethiopian Highlands Birhanu Z. Birhanu, Matthew P. McCartney, Bharat Sharma, Joshua Ogunwole, Gerba Leta and Seleshi B. Awlachew International Water Management Institute International Conference on Ecosystem Conservation and Sustainable Development 10-12 February 2011, Ambo University, Ethiopia
  2. 2. Introduction- Background <ul><li>Ethiopian highlands of the Blue Nile Basin; </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Have enormous agricultural and natural resources potential </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mean annual rainfall 900-2500mm </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Is not easily retained in the form of surface/ground water </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Much of the water is lost to runoff </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Majority of people are rain-dependant </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fragile landscapes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Poverty and marginalization of the rural villagers </li></ul></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Common Problems and Results <ul><li>Land degradation and water scarcity </li></ul><ul><li>Poor land management practices and lack of focus on Rain </li></ul><ul><li>Water management (RWM) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Existing structures to harvest rainwater were not built to the required standard, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Structures cannot contain enough water, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>No close supervision of the structures, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The approach lack community cooperation, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Most structures were built rapidly with poor planning and lack of decentralized ownership systems </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Hardship and insecurity </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Unable to safeguard livelihood systems </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The vicious cycle of poverty is aggravated </li></ul>Results of poor RWM to the local community
  4. 4. Major goal of RWM <ul><li>Improving the resilience of rural communities, </li></ul><ul><li>Contributing to poverty reduction, </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Improve the quality of life of rural communities </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The goal is achieved through natural resources regeneration and </li></ul><ul><li>management (watershed approach) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Restoration of the local environment through RW Harvesting (RWH) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Focus on the entire watershed and integrated community-led approaches </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Need to have an environmental unit for planning and </li></ul><ul><li>implementation </li></ul>
  5. 5. Existing Practices of RWM in Ethiopia <ul><li>Traditional RWH techniques, </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Runoff farming closely related to Soil Water Conservation (SWC) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Dated back to 1970 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Targets reducing soil erosion with little or no interest in enhancing soil water infiltration </li></ul></ul><ul><li>In-situ water harvesting techniques, </li></ul><ul><ul><li>micro-basins </li></ul></ul><ul><li>From 40,000 RWH ponds constructed between 2003 and 2008 in </li></ul><ul><li>Amhara and Tigray region of Ethiopia, most have failed (AMU, 2009), </li></ul><ul><li>Slow uptake by local farmers, </li></ul><ul><li>The technologies are rarely sufficiently adapted to local conditions, </li></ul>
  6. 6. Cntd..Existing Practices of RWM in Ethiopia <ul><li>Protecting forested areas and reducing soil erosion by building terraces and planting tree seedlings since the mid-1970s </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Resulted in limited success (Bishaw, 2001) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Emerging successful stories of RWM programs in Ethiopia: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>As part of Sustainable Land Management (SLM) project by MoARD, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Projects are showcased in Amhara, Oromiya, Tigray and Somali region include various technologies and approaches to increase in-situ water availability and increase aquifer recharge </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Research Sites <ul><li>In areas (called “study landscapes”) representing dominant agro-ecological zones and farming systems </li></ul>Fogera: a relatively high potential, market-oriented, rice–based system); Jeldu; a relatively low-potential system with steep agro-ecological gradients Diga/Dapo: a relatively high potential system with poor market access but with high value crops and livestock potential
  8. 8. Cntd.. Research Sites Diga/ Dapo watershed Diga In the lowland maize is the dominant crop followed by sorghum, millet & sesame and perennial crops coffee & mango. In the midland, teff, millet & maize are important in that order. Livestock keeping is common allover. The farming system is: “Mixed crop-livestock system” 1,376 – 2,037 Landscape Woreda Predominant farming systems Mean annual rainfall (mm) Fogera/ Mizewa watershed Fogera Rice is the major crop followed by maize, millet & tef, barley and ground nut. Farming system is: “Mixed crop-livestock system” 974 – 1,516 Jeldu/ Meja watershed Jeldu Potato, barley, wheat are the dominant crops in the highland area, Maize, sorghum and teff are common from mid to lowland. Shrinkage of the size of land possessed by individual farmers is common The farming system is: “Mixed crop-livestock system” 900 – 1,350
  9. 9. Guiding Principles towards effective RWM Strategies <ul><ul><li>the full range of water storage options in catchments need to be considered. These are water storage in: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>soil moisture, wetlands, water harvesting structures and groundwater </li></ul></ul>- Lessons from INDIA and ETHIOPIA- <ul><li>Are best achieved on a micro-catchment basis </li></ul><ul><li>The approach emphasizes self-help, ecological regeneration and </li></ul><ul><li>“ catching rain wherever it falls” </li></ul><ul><li>The principle addresses the need to work on different water </li></ul><ul><li>storages options </li></ul>
  10. 10. Cntd.. Guiding Principles towards.. <ul><li>Series of rigorous watershed development activities need to be practiced at micro-catchment level </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Establishing Village Self-Help Groups to help guide the watershed effort </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Building Hydraulic structures for in-situ water harvesting, aquifer recharge and erosion control </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A group of 13-20 women of a village who are comfortable with each other, come together to address their economic and social needs </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. <ul><li>Planting trees and grasses to stabilize </li></ul><ul><li>waterways and provide fodder and fuel wood </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Instituting bans on tree felling and grazing for natural regeneration of shrubs and grasses </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Training villagers in new or improved agricultural practices and livelihood activities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Supporting cottage industries and supplemental income generation through micro-lending schemes </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Applications of RWM through watershed development approach:- Building hydraulic structures & management <ul><li>The three basic operations for treatments of watershed development to conserve rainwater are: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Area Treatments </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Drainage Line Treatments </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Afforestation and pasture development </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The operations need to be </li></ul><ul><li>conducted from ridge to valley at </li></ul><ul><li>a catchment level </li></ul>
  13. 13. Continuous Contour Trenches (CCT) or hillside terraces <ul><li>The technology avoids the use of stones in farmlands and has got positive perception of its usefulness and active promotion by extension service in Ethiopia (SLMP, 2010). </li></ul>CCT / Hill side trenches Photo from INDIA Area Treatments <ul><li>Has its origin in India and has been practiced in Blue </li></ul><ul><li>Nile basin, Tigray region, North Shoa and Awash </li></ul><ul><li>basin (SLMP, 2010) </li></ul><ul><li>Result in control of erosion, retention of soil fertility, </li></ul><ul><li>better soil moisture regime, infiltration and ground </li></ul><ul><li>water recharge </li></ul><ul><li>Are practiced in low to high rainfall (250-3000mm) </li></ul><ul><li>regimes, and mild to steeper slopes (5 to greater than </li></ul><ul><li>60% slopes) </li></ul>
  14. 14. <ul><ul><li>Stone/Soil bunds </li></ul></ul>Stone Bunds across the slope Photo from INDIA <ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Is widely adopted by many farmers in Ethiopia to retain </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>rainwater that becomes runoff and later causes erosion </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Is essentially a water harvesting practice intended to store rainwater for crop production and enhance ground water recharge </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Arrest the flow of water and control erosion in </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>areas where soil work is not possible </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Widely practiced in Maharashtra state of INDIA </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In Ethiopia the technology has been practiced in Blue Nile basin, Tigray region, North Shoa and Awash basin (SLMP, 2010) </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. <ul><li>Vegetation bunds and plantation along CCTs </li></ul>Vegetation Bunds and plantations along CCTs Photo from INDIA <ul><li>Are practiced in high rainfall regimes and steeper slopes to reduce the effect of flood problems </li></ul><ul><li>Found to be suitable to steeper areas </li></ul><ul><li>receiving high rainfall </li></ul><ul><ul><li>to enhance moisture and water harvesting, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>increase biomass, conserve water and control erosion. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Effective soil erosion control and prevention </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>of gully erosion (SLMP, 2010) </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. <ul><ul><li>Biophysical measures integrated with area </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>enclosures </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Are common practices in the southern parts of Ethiopia, for example in Alaba Woreda, to help maintain the productivity of degraded land which has been abandoned </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Unproductive and waste lands are changed to productive land by the prevention and reduction of erosion and enhance land rehabilitation (SLMP, 2010). </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Practiced in 34 kebeles in Farta woreda as an effective mechanism to trap and direct rainwater to natural </li></ul><ul><li>drainage systems safely. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The technology was found to be suitable to steeper areas receiving high rainfall to enhance moisture and water harvesting, effective soil erosion control and prevention of gully erosion (SLMP, 2010). </li></ul></ul>Paved and grassed water way technology <ul><ul><li>Micro basins </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Trench </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Eyebrow terrace </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Terraces </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pitting and plantation of trees </li></ul></ul>A small stone paved along farm boundary in North Wollo (SLMP, 2010) A natural waterway stabilized by stone riprap and check dams, South Gondar (SLMP, 2010)
  17. 17. Drainage Line Treatments <ul><li>Has to begin from the top of the watershed </li></ul><ul><li>Series of gully plugs and earthen and stone dams </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Control flow of water, sedimentation and recharge ground water aquifers </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Check dams and percolation tanks </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Constructed at the lowest end of the drainage outlet and serve as storage basins for surplus Ridge to Valley conservation runoff water </li></ul></ul>Gully plugs along drainage line Nala Bunds along drainage line Photo from INDIA Check dam along the drainage line Percolation tank along the drainage line
  18. 18. Agro-forestry system and Pasture development <ul><li>Include growing of various crops (perennial trees and shrubs with annual crops) </li></ul>Planting banana, fruits and woody biomass together , Sidama (SLMP, 2010) Various fruit trees species and woody biomass grown together, Gedeo (SLMP, 2010) <ul><li>Meet household needs of fruits, </li></ul><ul><li>fuel, fodder, timber and fiber </li></ul><ul><li>Add organic matter to the soil </li></ul><ul><li>Control erosion </li></ul><ul><li>Slow runoff and accelerate </li></ul><ul><li>infiltration </li></ul><ul><li>Higher income and less biotic </li></ul><ul><li>pressure on grazing grounds </li></ul>
  19. 19. Conclusions and Recommendations <ul><li>Implementation of successful RWM strategy through watershed development approaches </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Successfully practiced in India and some parts of Ethiopia </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Contributed to increased food security and increased livelihood services for the </li></ul><ul><li>poor </li></ul><ul><li>Where badly implemented they can have the opposite effect, increasing </li></ul><ul><li>poverty and worsening food security </li></ul><ul><li>It is therefore essential that interventions are well planned ahead </li></ul><ul><li>and implemented </li></ul><ul><li>Further research, of the sort planned in the current study will provide </li></ul><ul><li>knowledge to make appropriate interventions towards successful </li></ul><ul><li>RWM strategies </li></ul>

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