Integrated Rainwater Management Strategies in the Blue Nile Basin of the Ethiopian Highlands
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Integrated Rainwater Management Strategies in the Blue Nile Basin of the Ethiopian Highlands

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Sustainable Land & Watershed Management Interventions and Impact Workshop. Hilton Hotel, Addis Ababa, May 10, 2013.

Sustainable Land & Watershed Management Interventions and Impact Workshop. Hilton Hotel, Addis Ababa, May 10, 2013.

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Integrated Rainwater Management Strategies in the Blue Nile Basin of the Ethiopian Highlands Integrated Rainwater Management Strategies in the Blue Nile Basin of the Ethiopian Highlands Presentation Transcript

  • Water for a food-secure worldIntegrated Rainwater ManagementStrategies in the Blue Nile Basin of theEthiopian HighlandsBirhanu Zemadim, Matthew McCartney, Simon Langan and Bharat SharmaInternational Water Management Institute
  • Water for a food-secure worldWater for a food-secure worldBackgroundEthiopian highlands of the Blue Nile Basin;– Have enormous agricultural and natural resources potential– Mean annual rainfall 900-2500mm• Is not easily retained in the form of surface/ground water• Much of the water is lost to runoff– Majority of people are rain-dependant– Fragile landscapes• Poverty and marginalization of the rural villagers
  • Water for a food-secure worldWater for a food-secure worldCommon Problems and Results• Land degradation and water scarcity• Poor land management practices and lack of focus on Rainwater management Strategies (RWS)i. Existing structures to harvest rainwater were not built to therequired standard,ii. Structures cannot contain enough water,iii. No close supervision of the structures,iv. The approaches lack community cooperation,v. Most structures were built rapidly with poor planning and lackof decentralized ownership systems• Hardship and insecurity– Inability to safeguard livelihood systems• The vicious cycle of poverty is aggravatedResults of poor RMSto the localcommunity
  • Water for a food-secure worldWater for a food-secure worldMajor goal of RMS• Improving the resilience of rural communities,• Contributing to poverty reduction,o Improve the quality of life of rural communities• The goal is achieved through natural resources regeneration andmanagement (watershed approach)o Restoration of the local environment through RW Harvesting (RWH)o Focus on the entire watershed and integrated community-led approaches• Need to have an environmental unit for planning andimplementation
  • Water for a food-secure worldWater for a food-secure worldExisting Practices of RMS in Ethiopia• Traditional RWH techniques,– Runoff farming closely related to Soil Water Conservation (SWC)– Dated back to 1970– Targets reducing soil erosion with little or no interest in enhancing soil water infiltration• In-situ water harvesting techniques,micro-basins• From 40,000 RWH ponds constructed between 2003 and 2008 inAmhara and Tigray region of Ethiopia, most have failed (AMU, 2009),• Slow uptake by local farmers,• The technologies are rarely sufficiently adapted to local conditions,
  • Water for a food-secure worldWater for a food-secure worldOne of failed rainwater harvestingstructure in in FOGERA districtNon functional hand pump in MADAJALALA AREA, DIGA district, EAST WOLLEGAFlooding in FOGERA districtStatus of Existing Structures and natural phenomenonWater fetching in Mizewa highland
  • Water for a food-secure worldWater for a food-secure worldExisting Practices of RMS in Ethiopia• Protecting forested areas and reducing soil erosion by buildingterraces and planting tree seedlings since the mid-1970so Resulted in limited success (Bishaw, 2001)• Emerging successful stories of RMS programs in Ethiopia:o As part of Sustainable Land Management (SLM) project by MoARD,Projects are showcased in Amhara, Oromiya, Tigray and Somaliregion include various technologies and approaches to increase in-situwater availability and increase aquifer recharge
  • Water for a food-secure worldWater for a food-secure worldTowards effective RMS….. Lessons learnto the full range of water storage options in catchments need to beconsidered. These are water storage in:soil moisture, wetlands, water harvesting structures and groundwater• Are best achieved on a micro-catchment basis-environmental unit• The approach emphasizes self-help, ecological regeneration and“catching rain wherever it falls”• The principle addresses the need to work on different waterstorages options
  • Water for a food-secure worldWater for a food-secure worldConceptualization of the physical water storage continuumafter McCartney and Smakhtin, 2010
  • Water for a food-secure worldWater for a food-secure worldPlanting trees and grasses to stabilizewaterways and provide fodder and fuel woodInstituting bans on tree felling and grazing fornatural regeneration of shrubs and grassesTraining villagers in new or improvedagricultural practices and livelihood activitiesSupporting cottage industries and supplementalincome generation through micro-lending schemes
  • Water for a food-secure worldWater for a food-secure worldRMS through watershed development approach:-hydraulic structures & management• Three basic operations– Area Treatments– Drainage LineTreatments– Afforestation andpasture development• The operations need to beconducted from ridge to valley ata watershed level
  • Water for a food-secure worldWater for a food-secure worldContinuous Contour Trenches (CCT) or hillside terraces• The technology avoids the use of stones infarmlands and has got positive perception of itsusefulness and active promotion by extensionservice in Ethiopia (SLMP, 2010).CCT / Hill side trenchesArea Treatments• Has its origin in India and has been practiced in BlueNile basin, Tigray region, North Shoa and Awashbasin (SLMP, 2010)• Result in control of erosion, retention of soil fertility,better soil moisture regime, infiltration and groundwater recharge• Are practiced in low to high rainfall (250-3000mm)regimes, and mild to steeper slopes (5 to greater than60% slopes)
  • Water for a food-secure worldWater for a food-secure worldStone/Soil bundsStone Bunds across the slope• Is widely adopted by many farmers in Ethiopia to retainrainwater that becomes runoff and later causes erosion• Is essentially a water harvesting practiceintended to store rainwater for cropproduction and enhance ground waterrecharge• Arrest the flow of water and control erosionin areas where soil work is not possibleThe technology has been practiced in Blue Nile basin, Tigrayregion, North Shoa and Awash basin (SLMP, 2010)
  • Water for a food-secure worldWater for a food-secure worldVegetation bunds and plantation along CCTsVegetation Bunds andplantations along CCTsPhoto from INDIA• Are practiced in high rainfall regimes andsteeper slopes to reduce the effect of floodproblems• Found to be suitable to steeper areasreceiving high rainfall• to enhance moisture and waterharvesting,•increase biomass, conserve water andcontrol erosion.• Effective soil erosion control and preventionof gully erosion (SLMP, 2010)
  • Water for a food-secure worldWater for a food-secure worldBiophysical measures integrated with area enclosures• Are common practices to help maintainthe productivity of degraded land whichhas been abandoned• Unproductive and waste lands are changed toproductive land by the prevention and reduction oferosion and enhance land rehabilitation (SLMP,2010).Paved and grassed water way technology
  • Water for a food-secure worldWater for a food-secure worldDrainage Line TreatmentsBegin from the top of thewatershed• Series of gully plugs andearthen and stone dams• Check dams and percolationtanksGully plugs along drainage line
  • Water for a food-secure worldWater for a food-secure worldAgro-forestry system and Pasture development• Include growing of various crops(perennial trees and shrubs withannual crops)o Meet household needs of fruits,fuel, fodder, timber and fibero Add organic matter to the soilo Control erosiono Slow runoff and accelerateinfiltrationo Higher income and less bioticpressure on grazing grounds
  • Water for a food-secure worldWater for a food-secure worldas part of Integrated RMS …Biophysical ResearchMonitoring and Modeling
  • Water for a food-secure worldWater for a food-secure worldWatershed approach towardseffective RMS …..
  • Water for a food-secure worldWater for a food-secure worldResearch SitesIn areas (called “study landscapes”) representing dominantagro-ecological zones and farming systemsFogera: a relatively highpotential, market-oriented,rice–based system);Jeldu; a relatively low-potential system withsteep agro-ecologicalgradientsDiga/Dapo: a relativelyhigh potential system withpoor market access butwith high value crops andlivestock potential
  • Water for a food-secure worldA Participatory Approach for Hydro-meteorologicalMonitoring
  • Water for a food-secure worldWater for a food-secure worldMonitoring provides biophysical informationthat can be used to evaluate the impactsof RMS on hydrological flows as well as todetermine water-use and waterproductivity in different landscapecomponents
  • Water for a food-secure worldWater for a food-secure worldExample of natural variability in rainfall and flow, in Fogera District(Data from 1992-2003)From May to October average rainfall record > 50 mmLong-term MAR is 1330 and 511 Mm3 for Gumara and RibbTotal flow volume of 1841 Mm3
  • Water for a food-secure worldWater for a food-secure world• Average per capita water availability is 2595 m3 per year– A figure higher than both the national figure (1707 m3) andbasin figure (2029 m3).• Heavy floods in the rainy season are typically followed bywater shortages during the dry season• Much of the available water in the area remains unutilized
  • Water for a food-secure worldWater for a food-secure worldCase study Mizewa watershed: FloodingPhoto taken in August 2012
  • Water for a food-secure worldWater for a food-secure worldCase study Mizewa watershed: DroughtPhoto taken in March 2013
  • Water for a food-secure worldWater for a food-secure worldDry season water search in FogeraFebruary to May
  • Water for a food-secure worldWater for a food-secure worldEstablishment of 3 watershed monitoring networks in the Blue NileBasin of Ethiopian highlands
  • Water for a food-secure worldWater for a food-secure worldMonitoring LocationsDapo watershed 18 km2Mizewa watershed 27 km2Meja watershed 96 km2
  • Water for a food-secure worldWater for a food-secure worldMethodology• A participatory approach involving local communityand other stakeholders• A scientific approach -the application of scientificand engineering principles in design, constructionand installation of the component structures• Activities undertaken– inception of idea/stakeholder identification– designing the network– installing the network– monitoring and maintaining the network– collating, quality control and data archiving– communication and feedback mechanisms
  • Water for a food-secure worldWater for a food-secure worldCommunity consultation Community engagement in installation of soilmoisture and ground water level devicesMonitoring Soil moisture and ground water levelWeather station installation
  • Water for a food-secure worldWater for a food-secure worldChallengesVandalism• This relates primarily to the automatic flowgauging stations, located on road bridgesat the outlet of each watershedFlood damage
  • Water for a food-secure worldWater for a food-secure worldFlood damage
  • Water for a food-secure worldWater for a food-secure worldMain outcomes of a participatory approachconducted in the three watersheds:– identifications of appropriate sites for hydrologicmonitoring– reduction of costs of installation and maintenance– provision of security to the installed network– instilling a sense of ownership within the localcommunities
  • Water for a food-secure worldWater for a food-secure worldBiophysical data monitoring for improved decisions makingFull scale, high resolution hydro-meteorologicalmonitoring will improve decisions towardsappropriate rainwater management strategies(RMS) and hence livelihood improvementAppropriate basin wide decision support tools based onhydrological and agro-ecological systems is requiredto prioritize sustainable RMS, and studydownstream impacts and eco-system services
  • Water for a food-secure worldWater for a food-secure worldWatershed Management PracticesandHydrological Modeling……………..