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Just Add Water: Approaches to Smart Agricultural Water Management


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Presentation by Rachael McDonnell, Sonali Senaratna Sellamuttu, Petra Schmitter

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Just Add Water: Approaches to Smart Agricultural Water Management

  1. 1. Just Add Water: Approaches to Smart Agricultural Water Management Rachael McDonnell, Sonali Senaratna Sellamuttu, Petra Schmitter Building a research-for-development partnership for thriving drylands in a changing climate Madrid, 6th Dec 2019
  2. 2. IWMI - Tackling Global Water Challenges
  3. 3. • Water runs through every action track of the GCA report • Water is the first and worst hit resource by climate change • Water is vital and connects sectors Global Commission on Adaptation - 2019 Chapter 2 Food Security and Smallholder Livelihoods a) Help small-scale producers and most vulnerable manage risks b) Policy coherence by making agriculture climate smart Chapter 4 Water - actions tracks a) Harness the power of nature and expand water infrastructure b) Cope with scarcity by using water more productively c) Prepare for a changing climate by planning for floods and droughts
  4. 4. Tackling climate change and water in Myanmar o Vulnerable to climate change [Global Climate Risk Index– ranked 2nd of 187 countries in 2016]. o Both droughts and floods negatively affect livelihoods and economic development
  5. 5. Change in Rainfall by 2050, 2070 and 2090 for rcp8.5 scenario • 7 RCMs- Percentage of Annual rainfall change between 1986-2005 and 2031-2050, 2051-2070 and 2071-2090 respectively
  6. 6. 1) Use water more productively
  7. 7. 2) Increasing water availability Caveats on small reservoirs • Under the driest climate scenarios, small reservoirs perform marginally less well (< 4- 8%)1 • Small reservoir tend to underperform due to weak institutions, sedimentation, poor site selection, inadequate maintenance2 Small reservoirs hold significant untapped potential in sub-Saharan Africa1 Sources: 1 Giordano et al.(2012); 2Saruchera and Jonathan Lautze (2019); 3Amarasinghe et al. (2016); 4Owusu et al. (2017) Manage aquifer recharge (MAR) is a promising storage alternative for smallholders Managed aquifer recharge can • Utilize rains, floods, treated wastewater • Replenish groundwater & enhance baseflows in rivers • Reduce saltwater intrusion & land subsidence Widespread suitability in Africa, dependent on3 • Landscape characteristics • Soil and aquifer properties • Availability of surface water 32% of Northern Ghana4 suitable for MAR Bhungroo MAR structure 369 million people reached $20 billion revenue annually 22 million hectares irrigated
  8. 8. Click to edit Master text styles Irrigation development potential SSA: • Large-scale: 15.2 million hectares1 • Farmer-led (MP): 29.7 million hectares2 185 million people reached $22 billion revenue annually Many technologies remain out of reach of smallholder farmers. Women and resource-poor farmers are particularly disadvantaged. Sources: 1 You et al. (2011); 2Xie et al. (2014)
  9. 9. 3) Bring innovations such as solar irrigation under smarter water management Sources: 1 Schmitter et al..(2018), Mansoor et al. (2019)
  10. 10. On-grid systems: Sell solar ‘as a crop’ to mitigate overexploitation of groundwater & enhance incomes1 Off-grid systems: Can provide energy access, food and livelihood security, access to water2 Benefits of the model • Reliable day-time energy for irrigation • Feed-in tariff for selling excess electricity to the grid • Supplementary, counter-seasonal incomes for farmers • Diversified, cleaner power grids Benefits of the model • Reduced prohibitive upfront costs • Relatively equal distribution of risk amongst gov., lender and borrower • Tailored financing to farmers’ needs (e.g., repayment schedules) Pilot on- and off-grid solar solutions Sources: 1 Shah et al. (2018); 2 Otoo et al. (2018)
  11. 11. Rachael McDonnell Sonali Senaratna Sellamuttu Petra Schmitter