Agbehadji, I. E.; Mabhaudhi, Tafadzwanashe; Botai, J.; Masinde, M. 2023. A systematic review of existing early warning systems’ challenges and opportunities in cloud computing early warning systems. Climate, 11(9):188. [DOI]
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This paper assessed existing EWS challenges and opportunities in cloud computing through the PSALSAR framework for systematic literature review and meta-analysis. The research used extant literature from Scopus and Web of Science, where a total of 2516 pieces of literature were extracted between 2004 and 2022, and through inclusion and exclusion criteria, the total was reduced to 98 for this systematic review. This review highlights the challenges and opportunities in transferring in-house early warning systems (that is, non-cloud) to the cloud computing infrastructure. The different techniques or approaches used in different kinds of EWSs to facilitate climate-related data processing and analytics were also highlighted. The findings indicate that very few EWSs (for example, flood, drought, etc.) utilize the cloud computing infrastructure. Many EWSs are not leveraging the capability of cloud computing but instead using online application systems that are not cloud-based. Secondly, a few EWSs have harnessed the computational techniques and tools available on a single platform for data processing. Thirdly, EWSs combine more than one fundamental tenet of the EWS framework to provide a holistic warning system. The findings suggest that reaching a global usage of climate-related EWS may be challenged if EWSs are not redesigned to fit the cloud computing service infrastructure.
Natural disasters / Frameworks / Modelling / Techniques / Climate prediction / Climate services / Meta-analysis / Systematic reviews / Early warning systems
Mekonnen, Kirubel; Velpuri, Naga Manohar; Leh, Mansoor; Akpoti, Komlavi; Owusu, Afua; Tinonetsana, Primrose; Hamouda, T.; Ghansah, B.; Paranamana, Thilina Prabhath; Munzimi, Y. 2023. Accuracy of satellite and reanalysis rainfall estimates over Africa: a multi-scale assessment of eight products for continental applications. Journal of Hydrology: Regional Studies, 49:101514. (Online first) [DOI]
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Study Region: Continental Africa Study Focus: This study evaluates the accuracy of eight gauge-corrected rainfall products across Africa through direct comparisons with in situ observations for the period 2001–2020. The effect of validation datasets on the performance of the rainfall products was also quantified in ten African countries. Four categorical and five continuous metrics were estimated at multiple spatial and temporal scales as part of the evaluation. New hydrological insights for the Region: Results indicate that the performance of the rainfall products varied in space and time. Evaluation at temporal scales revealed that, on average, most rainfall products showed poor results (KGE lt; 0.35) at the daily timescale. In contrast, RFE v2.0, ARC v2.0, and MSWEP v2.8 were reliable (KGE gt; 0.75) at the monthly and annual timescales. Among the rainfall products, the performance of TAMSATv3.1, PERSIANN-CDR, and ERA 5 was relatively poor in capturing in situ observations. Evaluation at various spatial scales revealed mixed results. The ARC v2.0 and CHIRPS v2.0 rainfall products were reliable in detecting no rains (lt; 1 mm/day) for all 19 spatial scales, indicating a high level of confidence for drought studies. IMERG-F v6B and RFE v2.0 were reliable in detecting heavy and high-intensity rainfall events for all spatial scales. Using the KGE performance metrics at the regional level, MSWEP v2.8 in the Northern Africa region, RFE v2.0 in the Western and Southern Africa regions, ARC v2.0 in Central Africa, and CHIRPS v2.0 in the Eastern Africa region showed better performances at monthly timescale. Moreover, the performance of the gauge-corrected rainfall datasets was reduced when compared with independent validation data (gauge data not used by rainfall products) than dependent validation data. This study provides several new insights into choosing a rainfall product for continental to regional applications and identifies the need for bias correction.
Observation / Rain gauges / Climatic zones / River basins / Climatology / Evaluation / Performance assessment / Models / Datasets / Satellites / Estimation / Rainfall
Lynch, A. J.; Hyman, A. A.; Cooke, S. J.; Capon, S. J.; Franklin, P. A.; Jahnig, S. C.; McCartney, Matthew; Hoa, N. P.; Owuor, M. A.; Pittock, J.; Samways, M. J.; Silva, L. G. M.; Steel, E. A.; Tickner, D. 2023. Future-proofing the emergency recovery plan for freshwater biodiversity. Environmental Reviews, 16p. (Online first) [DOI]
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Freshwater biodiversity loss is accelerating globally, but humanity can change this trajectory through actions that enable recovery. To be successful, these actions require coordination and planning at a global scale. The Emergency Recovery Plan for global freshwater biodiversity aims to reduce the risk for freshwater biodiversity loss through six priority actions: (1) accelerate implementation of environmental flows; (2) improve water quality to sustain aquatic life; (3) protect and restore critical habitats; (4) manage exploitation of freshwater species and riverine aggregates; (5) prevent and control nonnative species invasions in freshwater habitats; and (6) safeguard and restore freshwater connectivity. These actions can be implemented using future-proofing approaches that anticipate future risks (e.g., emerging pollutants, new invaders, and synergistic effects) and minimize likely stressors to make conservation of freshwater biodiversity more resilient to climate change and other global environmental challenges. While uncertainty with respect to past observations is not a new concern for freshwater biodiversity, future-proofing has the distinction of accounting for the uncertainty of future conditions that have no historical baseline. The level of uncertainty with respect to future conditions is unprecedented. Future-proofing of the Emergency Recovery Plan for freshwater biodiversity will require anticipating future changes and developing and implementing actions to address those future changes. Here, we showcase future-proofing approaches likely to be successful using local case studies and examples. Ensuring that response options within the Emergency Recovery Plan are future-proofed will provide decision makers with science-informed choices, even in the face of uncertain and potentially new future conditions. We are at an inflection point for global freshwater biodiversity loss; learning from defeats and successes can support improved actions toward a sustainable future.
Uncertainty / Strategies / Resilience / Protected areas / Rivers / Ecosystem restoration / Invasive species / Habitats / Water quality / Environmental flows / Climate change / Risk reduction / Biodiversity conservation / Freshwater ecosystems
Berhanu, D.; Alamirew, T.; Taye, Meron Teferi; Tibebe, D.; Gebrehiwot, S.; Zeleke, G. 2023. Evaluation of CMIP6 models in reproducing observed rainfall over Ethiopia. Journal of Water and Climate Change, 14(8):2583-2605. [DOI]
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Ethiopia is highly susceptible to the effects of climate change and variability. This study evaluated the performances of 37 CMIP6 models against a gridded rainfall product of Ethiopia known as Enhancing National Climate Services (ENACTS) in simulating the observed rainfall from 1981 to 2014. Taylor Skill Score was used for ranking the performance of individual models for mean monthly, June–September, and February–May seasonal rainfall. Comprehensive rating metrics (RM) were used to derive the overall ranks of the models. Results show that the performances of the models were not consistent in reproducing rainfall distributions at different statistical metrics and timeframes. More than 20 models simulated the largest dry bias on high topographic and rainfall-receiving areas of the country during the June–September season. The RM-based overall ranks of CMIP6 models showed that GFDL-CM4 is the best-performing model followed by GFDL-ESM4, NorESM2-MM, and CESM2 in simulating rainfall over Ethiopia. The ensemble of these four Global Climate Models showed the best performance in representing the spatiotemporal patterns of the observed rainfall relative to the ensembles of all models. Generally, this study highlighted the existence of dry bias in climate model projections for Ethiopia, which requires bias adjustment of the models, for impact assessment.
Climate change / Datasets / Seasonal variation / Precipitation / Trends / Spatial distribution / Rainfall patterns / Evaluation / Performance assessment / Climate models
Michalscheck, Mirja; Kizito, F.; Kotu, B. H.; Avornyo, F. K.; Timler, C.; Groot, J. C. J. 2023. Preparing for, coping with and bouncing back after shocks. A nuanced resilience assessment for smallholder farms and farmers in northern Ghana. International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability, 21(1):2241283. [DOI]
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Smallholder farmers in Northern Ghana regularly face shocks, challenging the sustainability of their farms and livelihoods. Different farm households and household members may be differently affected and respond with different coping strategies. We combined whole-farm modelling and farmer consultations to investigate the vulnerability, buffer and adaptive capacity of three farm types in Northern Ghana towards severe climate, economic and social shocks. We further assessed intrahousehold differences in respective risk mitigation and coping strategies. Our model results indicate that the drought shock would most severely affect all farm types, drastically reducing their operating profits and soil organic matter balance. The medium resource endowed farm was most affected by shocks, but all farm types could enhance their capacity to recover by adopting technology packages for sustainable intensification. Gendered coping strategies included livestock sales, post-harvest storage, activating social networks, rice processing and the collection, processing and sales of wild nuts and fruits. Farmers reported to aim at becoming more resilient by increasing their herd size and expanding their farmland, thereby risking to increase rather than reduce the pressure on natural resources. New questions arise concerning the carrying capacity of local ecosystems and resilience at community and landscape level.
Profit / Livestock / Gender / Soil organic matter / Farm models / Technology / Risk reduction / Labour shortage / Fall armyworms / Crops / Drought / Climate change / Economic shock / Coping strategies / Resilience / Farmers / Smallholders / Vulnerability / Sustainable intensification
Hlahla, S.; Ngidi, M.; Duma, S. E.; Sobratee-Fajurally, N.; Modi, A. T.; Slotow, R.; Mabhaudhi, Tafadzwanashe. 2023. Policy gaps and food systems optimization: a review of agriculture, environment, and health policies in South Africa. Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems, 7:867481. [DOI]
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South Africa faces the triple burden of malnutrition, high poverty levels, unemployment, and inequality. “Wicked problems” such as these require innovative and transdisciplinary responses, multi-stakeholder coordination and collaboration, managing complex synergies and trade-os, and achieving sustainable outcomes. Through qualitative content analysis of national and provincial sector-based policies, we explored the interlinkages between the agriculture, environment, and health sectors in South Africa in the context of sustainable food and nutrition security and the extent to which these interlinkages are integrated into policy and planning. A systemic analysis of the review outcomes was performed to identify its main learning outcome, the status quo in the policy process. The nature of feedback loops was identified, and a leverage point was suggested. The review highlighted that policymakers in the agriculture, environment and health sectors are aware of, and have understood, the relationships among the three sectors. They have also made attempts to address these interlinkages through collaboration and coordination. Unfortunately, this has been met with several challenges due to fragmented sector-specific mandates and targets and a lack of resources for integrated solutions. This creates implementation gaps and unintended duplication of activities, leading to poor service delivery. Transitioning to sustainable and healthy food systems will only be possible after these gaps have been closed and implementation optimization has been achieved. Focusing on meta-level problem-framing, functional collaboration through transdisciplinary approaches, and integrated targets are critical to successful policy implementation and progressive realization of national goals related to sustainable food and nutrition security, unemployment, poverty, and inequality.
Legislation / Government / Poverty / Unemployment / Vulnerability / Coordination / Collaboration / Food systems / Health policies / Environmental policies / Agricultural policies / Nutrition security / Food security
Sahya, A.; Sonkamble, S.; Jampani, Mahesh; Rao, A. N.; Amerasinghe, Priyanie. 2023. Field site soil aquifer treatment shows enhanced wastewater quality: evidence from vadose zone hydro-geophysical observations. Journal of Environmental Management, 345:118749. (Online first) [DOI]
Soil aquifer treatment (SAT) is an emerging, nature-based, economically viable wastewater treatment solution. Currently, most SAT experiments are done at the laboratory scale, which cannot generate the same conditions as natural field sites and limits the understanding of treatment efficiency. The current study carried out in situ SAT experiments in the Musi River basin in India, where wastewater irrigation is a common practice. SAT efficiency was determined using an integrated approach, including electrical resistivity tomography (ERT) surveys, soil investigations (grain size, permeability, and moisture measurements), and biochemical characterization of raw and SAT treated wastewater. The ERT scans of SAT column show lower order electrical resistivity 10-30 O-m with enhanced chargeability gt;5–6 mV/V attributed to the vadose zone, characterized by clay-rich soil and sandy soil up to 5–6 m depth. The increase in sand percentage (gt;70%) below 140–160 cm depth corroborates with the high moisture content (23.5%). The vadose zone permeability (K) 1.58 m/day and discharge (Q) 38.19 m3/day is used to determine the pollutants reduction efficiency of SAT column. Hydrogeological and biogeochemical observations reveal that the improved dissolved oxygen from lt;1.0 to 5–6 mg/L in the vadose zone catalyzes the oxidation of organic matter resulting in the reduction of BOD and COD up to 92% and 97%, respectively, and denitrification reducing NO3-- (0.55 kg/day). In addition, the precipitation and adsorption by kaolinite clay prompted the reduction of PO42- (0.26 kg/day). Furthermore, the oxic-vadose zone could not support the growth of coliforms and faecal coliforms, and the reduction observed was up to 99.99% in the SAT production well. Overall, the results indicated a positive outcome with SAT efficiency and framed the SAT sitting criteria for different geological environments.
Pollutants / Hydrogeology / River basins / Periurban areas / Wastewater irrigation / Groundwater / Aquifers / Soil moisture / Experimentation / Parameters / Water quality / Nature-based solutions / Wastewater treatment
Ali, Zeshan; Iqbal, M.; Khan, I. U.; Masood, M. U.; Umer, M.; Lodhi, M. U. K.; Tariq, M. A. U. R. 2023. Hydrological response under CMIP6 climate projection in Astore River Basin, Pakistan. Journal of Mountain Science, 20(8):2263-2281. [DOI]
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Climate change strongly influences the available water resources in a watershed due to direct linkage of atmospheric driving forces and changes in watershed hydrological processes. Understanding how these climatic changes affect watershed hydrology is essential for human society and environmental processes. Coupled Model Intercomparison Project phase 6 (CMIP6) dataset of three GCM’s (BCC-CSM2-MR, INM-CM5-0, and MPI-ESM1-2-HR) with resolution of 100 km has been analyzed to examine the projected changes in temperature and precipitation over the Astore catchment during 2020–2070. Bias correction method was used to reduce errors. In this study, statistical significance of trends was performed by using the Man- Kendall test. Sen’s estimator determined the magnitude of the trend on both seasonal and annual scales at Rama Rattu and Astore stations. MPI-ESM1-2-HR showed better results with coefficient of determination (COD) ranging from 0.70–0.74 for precipitation and 0.90–0.92 for maximum and minimum temperature at Astore, Rama, and Rattu followed by INM-CM5-0 and BCC-CSM2-MR. University of British Columbia Watershed model was used to attain the future hydrological series and to analyze the hydrological response of Astore River Basin to climate change. Results revealed that by the end of the 2070s, average annual precipitation is projected to increase up to 26.55% under the SSP1–2.6, 6.91% under SSP2–4.5, and decrease up to 21.62% under the SSP5–8.5. Precipitation also showed considerable variability during summer and winter. The projected temperature showed an increasing trend that may cause melting of glaciers. The projected increase in temperature ranges from - 0.66C to 0.50C, 0.9C to 1.5C and 1.18C to 2C under the scenarios of SSP1–2.6, SSP2–4.5 and SSP5–8.5, respectively. Simulated streamflows presented a slight increase by all scenarios. Maximum streamflow was generated under SSP5–8.5 followed by SSP2–4.5 and SSP1–2.6. The snowmelt and groundwater contributions to streamflow have decreased whereas rainfall and glacier melt components have increased on the other hand. The projected streamflows (2020–2070) compared to the control period (1990–2014) showed a reduction of 3%–11%, 2%–9%, and 1%–7% by SSP1–2.6, SSP2–4.5, and SSP5–8.5, respectively. The results revealed detailed insights into the performance of three GCMs, which can serve as a blueprint for regional policymaking and be expanded upon to establish adaption measures.
Temperature / Precipitation / Forecasting / Climate models / Runoff / Stream flow / Watersheds / River basins / Hydrological modelling / Climate change / Climate prediction
Smith, Mark D.; Sikka, Alok; Dirwai, Tinashe L.; Mabhaudhi, Tafadzwanashe. 2023. Research and innovation in agricultural water management for a water-secure world. Irrigation and Drainage, 15p. (Online first) [DOI]
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There is increased awareness that the current food system is unsustainable and that transformative research, development and innovation in agricultural water management (AWM) are needed to transform water and food systems under climate change. We provide an overview of research efforts, challenges, opportunities and innovations to improve water resource management and sustainability, especially in the agricultural sector. We highlight how sustainable AWM is central to balancing the needs of a growing population and increasing food demand under increasing water insecurity and scarcity, with environmental and socio-economic outcomes. Innovative technologies are being developed to optimize water use and productivity through sustainable irrigation technologies, irrigation modernization and smart water management. However, these innovations still need to fully address equity, inequality and social justice concerning access to water, infrastructure and the delayed technological advances in the global South. This requires adopting transdisciplinary approaches, as espoused by the water–energy–food (WEF) nexus, to better anticipate and balance trade-offs, optimize synergies and mitigate risks of maladaptation. Through such transdisciplinary approaches, AWM innovations could better consider local socio-economic, governance, institutional and technological constraints, thus allowing for more contextualized and relevant innovations that can be scaled.
Socioeconomic aspects / Climate change / Irrigated farming / Water use / Water productivity / Irrigation technology / Nexus approaches / Food systems / Energy consumption / Water resources / Transformation / Sustainable development / Innovation / Research / Water security / Agricultural water management
Shah, Tushaar. 2023. Water-energy-food-environment nexus in action: global review of precepts and practice. Cambridge Prisms: Water, 1:e5. [DOI]
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Using water-energy-food-environment (WEFE) nexus as the prism, this review explores evolution of groundwater governance in Iran, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, China, Bangladesh and India – which together account for two-thirds of the global groundwater-irrigated area. Global discourse has blamed widespread water scarcity squarely on supply-side policymaking and advocated a broader template of water governance instruments. Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) presented just such a template – with pricing, participation, rights and entitlements, laws, regulations, and river basin organizations – as additional water governance tools. However, the IWRM template faced disillusionment and pushback in many emerging economies. WEFE nexus, the new paradigm, prioritizes system-level optima over sectoral maxima by harnessing synergies and optimizing trade-offs between food, water, energy, soil, and eco-system sustainability within planetary boundaries. Realizing this vision presents a complex challenge in groundwater governance. Global groundwater economy comprises three sub-economies: (a) diesel-powered unregulated, as in Nepal terai, eastern India, Bangladesh, Pakistan Punjab and Sind, and much of Sub-Saharan Africa, where use-specific energy subsidies are impractical; (b) electricity-powered regulated, as in North America and Europe, where tubewells are authorized, metered and subject to consumption-linked energy charges; and (c) electricity-powered unregulated, as in geographies covered by our review – barring China, Bengal and Bangladesh – where unmeasured electricity subsidies have created a bloated groundwater economy. This last sub-economy represents the heartland of global groundwater malgovernance, least equipped to meet the sustainability challenge. It has an estimated 300 million horsepower of grid-connected electric pumps that are either unauthorized and/or unmetered and/or use free or heavily subsidized or pilfered power for irrigating 50–52 million hectares, nearly half of global groundwater-irrigated area. In (a) and (b), groundwater scarcity inspires water-energy saving behavior via increased energy cost of pumping. In sub-economy (c), users are immune to energy costs and impervious to groundwater depletion. Here, the WEFE nexus has remained blind to the irrigation realpolitik that catalyzes or constrains policy action. We explore why the political costs of rationalizing subsidies are prohibitive and exemplify how a smart transition from fossil to solar energy for pumping may offer an opportunity to turn the perverse WEFE nexus into a virtuous one.
Farmers / Water use / Groundwater depletion / Climate change / Policies / Electricity / Subsidies / Pumps / Tube wells / Solar powered irrigation systems / Integrated water resources management / Water scarcity / Water governance / Nexus approaches / Environmental factors / Food security / Energy consumption / Groundwater irrigation
Bilal, H.; Li, X.; Iqbal, Muhammad Shahid; Mu, Y.; Tulcan, R. X. S.; Ghufran, M. A. 2023. Surface water quality, public health, and ecological risks in Bangladesh—a systematic review and meta-analysis over the last two decades. Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 30(40):91710-91728 . [DOI]
Water quality has recently emerged as one of the utmost severe ecological problems being faced by the developing countries all over the world, and Bangladesh is no exception. Both surface and groundwater sources contain different contaminants, which lead to numerous deaths due to water-borne diseases, particularly among children. This study presents one of the most comprehensive reviews on the current status of water quality in Bangladesh with a special emphasis on both conventional pollutants and emerging contaminants. Data show that urban rivers in Bangladesh are in a critical condition, especially Korotoa, Teesta, Rupsha, Pashur, and Padma. The Buriganga River and few locations in the Turag, Balu, Sitalakhya, and Karnaphuli rivers have dissolvable oxygen (DO) levels of almost zero. Many waterways contain traces of NO3, NO2, and PO4-3 pollutants. The majority of the rivers in Bangladesh also have Zn, Cu, Fe, Pb, Cd, Ni, Mn, As, and Cr concentrations that exceed the WHO permissible limits for safe drinking water, while their metal concentrations exceed the safety threshold for irrigation. Mercury poses the greatest hazard with 90.91% of the samples falling into the highest risk category. Mercury is followed by zinc 57.53% and copper 29.16% in terms of the dangers they pose to public health and the ecosystem. Results show that a considerable percentage of the population is at risk, being exposed to contaminated water. Despite hundreds of cryptosporidiosis cases reported, fecal contamination, i.e., Cryptosporidium, is totally ignored and need serious considerations to be regularly monitored in source water.
Water policies / Water management / Rivers / Drinking water / Cryptosporidium / Faecal coliforms / Biological contamination / Lead / Mercury / Chromium / Cadmium / Arsenic / Heavy metals / Anions / Cations / Hydrochemistry / Physicochemical properties / Ecological factors / Water pollution / Health hazards / Risk assessment / Public health / Water quality / Surface water
Incoom, A. B. M.; Adjei, K. A.; Odai, S. N.; Akpoti, Komlavi; Siabi, E. K.; Awotwi, A. 2023. Assessing climate model accuracy and future climate change in Ghana's Savannah regions. Journal of Water and Climate Change, 14(7):2362-2383. [DOI]
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This study aimed to compare the performance of six regional climate models (RCMs) in simulating observed and projecting future climate in the Savannah zone of Ghana, in order to find suitable methods to improve the accuracy of climate models in the region. The study found that the accuracy of both individual RCMs and their ensemble mean improved with bias correction, but the performance of individual RCMs was dependent on location. The projected change in annual precipitation indicated a general decline in rainfall with variations based on the RCM and location. Projections under representative concentration pathway (RCP) 8.5 were larger than those under RCP 4.5. The changes in mean temperature recorded were 1 C for the 2020s for both RCPs, 1–4 C for the 2050s under both RCPs, and 1– 4 C under RCP 4.5, and from 2 to 8 C for the 2080s. These findings will aid farmers and governments in the West African subregion in making informed decisions and planning cost-effective climate adaptation strategies to reduce the impact of climate change on the ecosystem. The study highlights the importance of accurate climate projections to reduce vulnerability to climate change and the need to improve climate models in projecting climate in the West African subregion.
Savannahs / Weather forecasting / Temperature / Rainfall patterns / Precipitation / Strategies / Climate change adaptation / Climate prediction / Performance assessment / Climate models
Aboah, J.; Apolloni, A.; Duboz, R.; Wieland, B.; Kotchofa, Pacem; Okoth, E.; Dione, M. 2023. Ex-ante impact of pest des petits ruminant control on micro and macro socioeconomic indicators in Senegal: a system dynamics modelling approach. PLoS ONE, 18(7):e0287386. [DOI]
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Vaccination is considered as the main tool for the Global Control and Eradication Strategy for peste des petits ruminants (PPR), and the efficacity of the PPR-vaccine in conferring long-life immunity has been established. Despite this, previous studies asserted that vaccination can be expensive and consequently, the effectiveness of disease control may not necessarily translate to overall profit for farmers. Also, the consequences of PPR control on socioeconomic indicators like food and nutrition security at a macro-national level have not been explored thoroughly. Therefore, this study seeks to assess ex-ante the impact of PPR control strategies on farm-level profitability and the socioeconomic consequences concerning food and nutrition security at a national level in Senegal. A bi-level system dynamics model, compartmentalised into five modules consisting of integrated production-epidemiological, economics, disease control, marketing, and policy modules, was developed with the STELLA Architect software, validated, and simulated for 30 years at a weekly timestep. The model was parameterised with data from household surveys from pastoral areas in Northern Senegal and relevant existing data. Nine vaccination scenarios were examined considering different vaccination parameters (vaccination coverage, vaccine wastage, and the provision of government subsidies). The findings indicate that compared to a no-vaccination scenario, all the vaccination scenarios for both 26.5% (actual vaccination coverage) and 70% (expected vaccination coverage) resulted in statistically significant differences in the gross margin earnings and the potential per capita consumption for the supply of mutton and goat meat. At the prevailing vaccination coverage (with or without the provision of government subsidies), farm households will earn an average gross margin of $69.43 (annually) more than without vaccination, and the average per capita consumption for mutton and goat meat will increase by 1.13kg/person/year. When the vaccination coverage is increased to the prescribed threshold for PPR eradication (i.e., 70%), with or without the provision of government subsidies, the average gross margin earnings would be $72.23 annually and the per capita consumption will increase by 1.23kg/person/year compared to the baseline (without vaccination). This study’s findings offer an empirical justification for a sustainable approach to PPR eradication. The information on the socioeconomic benefits of vaccination can be promoted via sensitization campaigns to stimulate farmers’ uptake of the practice. This study can inform investment in PPR control.
Modelling / Sheep / Goats / Subsidies / Impact assessment / Indicators / Socioeconomic aspects / Vaccination / Disease control / Pest of small ruminants / Animal diseases
Gulte, E.; Tadele, H.; Haileslassie, Amare; Mekuria, Wolde. 2023. Perception of local communities on protected areas: lessons drawn from the Bale Mountains National Park, Ethiopia. Ecosystems and People, 19(1):2227282. [DOI]
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A study targeting the Bale Mountains National Park in Ethiopia was conducted to gain a deeper understanding of local communities’ opinion on benefits and disbenefits of protected areas and existing benefit-sharing mechanisms and to suggest future research for development direction related to the management of protected areas. Household surveys, key informant interviews and focus group discussions were tools used to collect data. The results obtained through the analysis of the factors affecting the attitude of local communities on the park and its management demonstrated that efforts should be concentrated on improving communication with local communities and short-term economic benefits as well as identifying the reasons for the unhealthy relationships and addressing them. These issues can partly be addressed through creating and supporting effective and functioning multistakeholder platforms for dialogue and co-production of knowledge, continuous meetings and awareness-raising campaigns and integrating more income-generating activities. The results also suggested that park management and government authorities use their authority to decide how local communities should participate in Bale Mountains National Park management initiatives. Such a top-down approach affects the sustainability of the efforts to conserve protected areas because local stakeholders lack incentives to participate. This also leads to inadequate understanding of the complex relationships between people and protected areas they depend on and the inability to tailor management responses to specific needs and conditions. The study discussed the implications of the results for future planning and management of protected areas and forwarded recommendations for policy and future research for development directions.
Household surveys / Livelihoods / Ecotourism / Livestock / Multi-stakeholder processes / Awareness-raising / Income generation / Economic benefits / Planning / Participatory management / Community organizations / Biodiversity conservation / Benefit-sharing mechanisms / National parks / Attitudes / Local communities / Protected areas
Sawadogo, A.; Dossou-Yovo, E. R.; Kouadio, L.; Zwart, Sander J.; Traore, F.; Gundogdu, K. S. 2023. Assessing the biophysical factors affecting irrigation performance in rice cultivation using remote sensing derived information. Agricultural Water Management, 278:108124. [DOI]
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Identifying the biophysical factors that affect the performance of irrigated crops in semi-arid conditions is pivotal to the success of profitable and sustainable agriculture under variable climate conditions. In this study, soil physical and chemical variables and plots characteristics were used through linear mixed and random forestbased modeling to evaluate the determinants of actual evapotranspiration (ETa) and crop water productivity (CWP) in rice in the Kou Valley irrigated scheme in Burkina Faso. Multi-temporal Landsat images were used within the Python module for the Surface Energy Balance Algorithm for Land model to calculate rice ETa and CWP during the dry seasons of 2013 and 2014. Results showed noticeable spatial variations in PySEBAL-derived ETa and CWP in farmers’ fields during the study period. The distance between plot and irrigation scheme inlet (DPSI), plot elevation, sand and silt contents, soil total nitrogen, soil extractable potassium and zinc were the main factors affecting variabilities in ETa and CWP in the farmers’ fields, with DPSI being the top explanatory variable. There was generally a positive association, up to a given threshold, between ETa and DPSI, sand and silt contents and soil extractable zinc. For CWP the association patterns for the top six predictors were all non-monotonic; that is a mix of increasing and decreasing associations of a given predictor to either an increase or a decrease in CWP. Our results indicate that improving irrigated rice performance in the Kou Valley irrigation scheme would require growing more rice at lower altitudes (e.g. lt; 300 m above sea level) and closer to the scheme inlet, in conjunction with a good management of nutrients such as nitrogen and potassium through fertilization.
Machine learning / Modelling / Satellite imagery / Evapotranspiration / Energy balance / Sustainable agriculture / Chemical properties / Soil physical properties / Water productivity / Crops / Remote sensing / Biophysics / Irrigated rice / Performance / Irrigation schemes
Babiso, W. Z.; Ayano, K. K.; Haile, Alemseged Tamiru; Keche, D. D.; Acharya, K.; Werner, D. 2023. Citizen science for water quality monitoring in the Meki River, Ethiopia: quality assurance and comparison with conventional methods. Water, 15(2):238. (Special issue: Field Methods for Water Quality Surveying) [DOI]
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A lack of water quality information for many water bodies around the world makes it difficult to identify global change and discover early signs of myriad threats to freshwater resources. This problem is widely seen in Ethiopia due to absence of regular monitoring. Citizen science has a great potential to fill these gaps in water quality data, but there is concern about the accuracy of data collected by citizen scientists. Moreover, there is a gap to engage citizen scientists in water quality monitoring, and there is still insufficient awareness of how citizen scientists can become part of a collaborative scheme. This study aimed to evaluate the accuracy of water quality collected by citizen scientists and characterize the water quality of the Meki River with the involvement of citizen scientists. The suitability of the river water for irrigation was evaluated using a combination of citizen science and conventional water quality data collection methods. Water temperature, turbidity, ammonia, phosphate, nitrate, nitrite, total alkalinity, total hardness, and pH were analyzed by both citizen scientists and in a conventional laboratory. The citizen scientists’ data, expressed as percent of synthetic standard solution concentrations, indicated good agreement for selected water quality parameters: 123.8 24.7% for PO4 3-, 115.6 6.3% for NO3 -, 105.8 7.4% for pH, and 133.3 23.6% for NH4 + . Thus, citizen scientists can monitor and collect water quality data accurately. From the results, the Meki River water can be used for irrigation, but pollution sources should be controlled to reduce further quality deterioration as the population increases.
Irrigation / Rivers / Parameters / Physicochemical properties / Pollution / Quality assurance / Scientists / Citizen science / Monitoring / Water quality
Caretta, M. A.; Fanghella, V.; Rittelmeyer, P.; Srinivasan, J.; Panday, P. K.; Parajuli, J.; Priya, R.; Reddy, E. B. U. B.; Seigerman, C. K.; Mukherji, Aditi. 2023. Migration as adaptation to freshwater and inland hydroclimatic changes? A meta-review of existing evidence. Climatic Change, 176(8):100. [DOI]
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Due to its potential geo-political and environmental implications, climate migration is an increasing concern to the international community. However, while there is considerable attention devoted to migration in response to sea-level rise, there is a limited understanding of human mobility due to freshwater and inland hydroclimatic changes. Hence, the aim of this paper is to examine the existing evidence on migration as an adaptation strategy due to freshwater and inland hydroclimatic changes. A meta-review of papers published between 2014 and 2019 yielded 67 publications, the majority of which focus on a handful of countries in the Global South. Droughts, floods, extreme heat, and changes in seasonal precipitation patterns were singled out as the most common hazards triggering migration. Importantly, most of the papers discuss mobility as part of a portfolio of responses. Motivations to migrate at the household level range from survival to searching for better economic opportunities. The outcomes of migration are mixed — spanning from higher incomes to difficulties in finding employment after moving and struggles with a higher cost of living. While remittances can be beneficial, migration does not always have a positive outcome for those who are left behind. Furthermore, this meta-review shows that migration, even when desired, is not an option for some of the most vulnerable households. These multifaceted results suggest that, while climate mobility is certainly happening due to freshwater and inland hydroclimatic changes, studies reviewing it are limited and substantial gaps remain in terms of geographical coverage, implementation assessments, and outcomes evaluation. We argue that these gaps need to be filled to inform climate and migration policies that increasingly need to be intertwined rather than shaped in isolation from each other.
Case studies / Households / Risk reduction / Weather hazards / Vulnerability / Labour mobility / Climate change / Hydroclimate / Freshwater / Strategies / Adaptation / Migration
Mukherjee, J.; Ghosh, Surajit. 2023. Decoding the vitality of earth observation for flood monitoring in the Lower Godavari River Basin, India. Journal of the Geological Society of India, 99(6):802-808. [DOI]
The entire Indian subcontinent experienced devastating floods in the year 2022. The central section of the Godavari river basin (GRB) received torrential rainfall from the southwest monsoon during the second week of July 2022. This study exhibits how Earth observation (EO) datasets and cloud platforms like Google Earth Engine (GEE) can be used for swift, lucid and accurate decoding of the flood inundation signatures. Geospatial analysts can estimate concurrent floods using high-resolution C-band SAR/Sentinel-1 images, gridded precipitation and streamflow forecast datasets. The GPM (IMERG) precipitation data showed an incremental trend with prime hotspots, rainfall dissemination and retrieval from 01–20 July 2022 in the mid-GRB. The flood inundation layers were derived based on Otsu’s method with selective topographic conditions from Sentinel-1 in GEE. Five significant flood affected case sites were identified in the lower GRB from Kothapalli to Yanam town, where the Godavari river meets the Bay of Bengal. Large stretches of agricultural lands were found to be inundated, resulting in extensive economic losses. Such flooded farmlands surrounding Kothapalli, Bhadrachalam, Kunavaram, Polavaram and Yanam towns were estimated as 60, 91, 86, 170 and 142 km2 on 16 and 21 July 2022, respectively. The results were validated and cross-verified using bulletins and maps issued by various national agencies. Hence, EO, GEE and cloud analytical techniques are modern untapped potential e-assets vital for incorporation in policy frameworks helping disaster managers with comprehensive flood condition analysis.
Satellite imagery / Climate change / Monsoons / Rainfall / Forecasting / Stream flow / Datasets / River basins / Earth observation satellites / Monitoring / Floods
Gomes, S. L.; Hermans, L. M.; Butsch, C.; Banerjee, P. S.; Luft, S.; Chakraborty, Shreya. 2023. A Delphi-based methodology for participatory adaptation pathways building with local stakeholders: methodological considerations and an illustrative application in peri-urban India. Environmental Development, 46:100822. [DOI]
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Adaptation pathways is a planning approach used to design flexible, long-term strategies for dealing with future uncertainty. However, emphasis on how to discuss pathways elements with stakeholders during the pathways building process is under-represented in the existing pathways literature. This paper presents a participatory methodology for building normative adaptation pathways with local stakeholders. Iterative discussions are facilitated using a Delphi study that is designed to explicitly consider institutional, and multi-actor dimensions in the formulation of future adaptive strategies. This leads to adaptation pathways that are more inclusive of local needs. This paper describes the steps for iteratively designing adaptation pathways in a multi-actor setting through a Delphi study. A pilot application of this Delphi-based adaptation pathway approach is illustrated with local actors in peri-urban Kolkata (India) for future water management. It demonstrates how this methodology offers a structured way to introduce pathways thinking to local stakeholders and helps build consensus about future preferences and adaptation options. Moreover, it stimulates discussions about normative differences across and within stakeholder groups through the underlying values that define future pathways as well as the institutional adjustments needed to successfully activate adaptations strategies over time. Future work may be directed towards to strengthening discussions around uncertainty, connecting pathways to a broader set of future scenarios, and comparing this facilitation method against other existing ones.
Delphi method / Villages / Livelihoods / Sustainability / Water use / Households / Planning / Stakeholders / Periurban areas / Adaptation / Participatory approaches
Gomes, S. L.; Hermans, L. M.; Chakraborty, Shreya; Luft, S.; Butsch, C.; Banerjee, P. S. 2023. Comparative analysis of local adaptation processes in the future across peri-urban India to support transformations to sustainability. Global Environmental Change, 82:102721. [DOI]
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Peri-urban transformations in emerging economies like India demand scientific attention given their impact on global environmental change processes. Some studies examine past or ongoing peri-urban adaptation processes, but insight into future adaptation needs and aspirations of peri-urban communities is lacking. Also, it is unknown how the high degree of informality that characterizes peri-urban areas, interacts with formal institutions to shape or enable more sustainable adaptation pathways. This study addresses these scientific gaps, using an existing typology of adaptation processes to investigate plausible future adaptation pathways in three peri-urban villages in India, near Pune, Hyderabad, and Kolkata cities. On-site field research followed by a Delphi-study were used to develop normative adaptation pathways for livelihood and household water use with local actors. The pathways represent development trajectories and adaptation strategies over the next 15 years in the livelihood and household water sectors. Pathways data was thereafter analyzed and compared in terms of drivers of vulnerability and opportunity, adaptation processes, and formal and informal institutions. Our ex-ante study identifies general and context specific drivers of vulnerability and opportunity shaping different peri-urban transformations. Results reveal similarities in future drivers, whose impact on peri-urban livelihoods and household water is context dependent. This comparative analysis contributes a deeper understanding of future adaptation needs by highlighting patterns in locally preferred adaptation processes for different drivers and water-use sectors. This normative understanding reveals preferences of local communities who are otherwise marginalized from decision-making arenas. A combination of adaptation processes will be needed to respond to the various drivers, only some of which are achievable through informal institutions. Formal government intervention will be essential for stimulating innovation, intensification, and revitalization forms of adaptation. Institutional adjustments will be key to shaping local agency and future adaptive capacity away from a business-as-usual trajectory.
Vulnerability / Climate change / Villages / Water use / Households / Livelihoods / Strategies / Institutions / Comparative analysis / Transformation / Sustainability / Periurban areas / Adaptation / Local communities
Arthington, A. H.; Tickner, D.; McClain, M. E.; Acreman, M. C.; Anderson, E. P.; Babu, S.; Dickens, Chris W. S.; Horne, A. C.; Kaushal, N.; Monk, W. A.; O’Brien, G. C.; Olden, J. D.; Opperman, J. J.; Owusu, Afua G.; Poff, N. L.; Richter, B. D.; Salinas-Rodrguez, S. A.; Shamboko-Mbale, B.; Tharme, R. E.; Yarnell, S. M. 2023. Accelerating environmental flows implementation to bend the curve of global freshwater biodiversity loss. Environmental Reviews, 64p. (Online first) [DOI]
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Environmental flows (e-flows) aim to mitigate the threat of altered hydrological regimes in river systems and connected waterbodies and are an important component of integrated strategies to address multiple threats to freshwater biodiversity. Expanding and accelerating implementation of e-flows can support river conservation and help to restore the biodiversity and resilience of hydrologically altered and water-stressed rivers and connected freshwater ecosystems. While there have been significant developments in e-flows science, assessment and societal acceptance, implementation of e-flows within water resources management has been slower than required and geographically uneven. This review explores critical factors that enable successful e-flows implementation and biodiversity outcomes in particular, drawing on 13 case studies and the literature. It presents e-flows implementation as an adaptive management cycle enabled by 10 factors: legislation and governance, financial and human resourcing, stakeholder engagement and co-production of knowledge, collaborative monitoring of ecological and social-economic outcomes, capacity training and research, exploration of trade-offs among water users, removing or retrofitting water infrastructure to facilitate e-flows and connectivity, and adaptation to climate change. Recognising that there may be barriers and limitations to the full and effective enablement of each factor, the authors have identified corresponding options and generalizable recommendations for actions to overcome prominent constraints, drawing on the case studies and wider literature. The urgency of addressing flow-related freshwater biodiversity loss demands collaborative networks to train and empower a new generation of e-flows practitioners equipped with the latest tools and insights to lead adaptive environmental water management globally. Mainstreaming e-flows within conservation planning, integrated water resource management (IWRM), river restoration strategies and adaptations to climate change, is imperative. The policy drivers and associated funding commitments of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework offer crucial opportunities to achieve the human benefits contributed by e-flows as nature-based solutions (NBS), such as flood risk management, floodplain fisheries restoration and increased river resilience to climate change.
Case studies / Training / Capacity development / Human resources / Infrastructure / Ecological factors / Socioeconomic aspects / Funding / Monitoring / Regulations / Legislation / Constraints / Climate change / Stakeholders / Water users / Water availability / Rivers / Resilience / Ecosystem services / Biodiversity / Freshwater / Environmental flows
Tomasella, J.; Martins, M. A.; Shrestha, Nirman. 2023. An open-source tool for improving on-farm yield forecasting systems. Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems, 7:1084728. [DOI]
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Introduction: The increased frequency of extreme climate events, many of them of rapid onset, observed in many world regions, demands the development of a crop forecasting system for hazard preparedness based on both intraseasonal and extended climate prediction. This paper presents a Fortran version of the Crop Productivity Model AquaCrop that assesses climate and soil fertility effects on yield gap, which is crucial in crop forecasting systems Methods: Firstly, the Fortran version model - AQF outputs were compared to the latest version of AquaCrop v 6.1. The computational performance of both versions was then compared using a 100-year hypothetical experiment. Then, field experiments combining fertility and water stress on productivity were used to assess AQF model simulation. Finally, we demonstrated the applicability of this software in a crop operational forecast system. Results: Results revealed that the Fortran version showed statistically similar results to the original version (r 2 gt; 0.93 and RMSEn lt; 11%, except in one experiment) and better computational efficiency. Field data indicated that AQF simulations are in close agreement with observation. Conclusions: AQF offers a version of the AquaCrop developed for time-consuming applications, such as crop forecast systems and climate change simulations over large areas and explores mitigation and adaptation actions in the face of adverse effects of future climate change.
Computer software / Assessment / Climate change / Canopy / Biomass / Water productivity / Soil water content / Maize / Wheat / On-farm research / Optimization / Crop modelling / Yield gap / Irrigation management / Soil fertility / Crop forecasting / Yield forecasting
Alvar-Beltran, J.; Soldan, R.; Vanuytrecht, E.; Heureux, A.; Shrestha, Nirman; Manzanas, R.; Pant, K. P.; Franceschini, G. 2023. An FAO model comparison: Python Agroecological Zoning (PyAEZ) and AquaCrop to assess climate change impacts on crop yields in Nepal. Environmental Development, 47:100882. [DOI]
To identify the most effective agricultural transformation and adaptation measures, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) calls for action to produce robust crop suitability assessments. We developed a novel approach to assess the inputs and outputs of two FAO tools (AEZ and AquaCrop). We use Nepal as a case study, a country offering a myriad of ecoclimatic conditions for multiple crops. Our work provides further evidence of climate change impacts on rice, maize and wheat yields along the different agroclimatic zones of Nepal, equally under rainfed and irrigated conditions for future climate scenarios. The findings of bias-adjusted regional climate models (RCMs) shows increasing temperatures and precipitation; whereas the outputs of agroecological/crop models show effective adaptation of C3 crops to a CO2 enriched environment. In sum, this supports the climate-crop modelling user community, extension workers and government agencies with guidance’s to overcome uncertainties associated with the application of these tools.
FAO / River basins / Temperature / Soil texture / Water productivity / Rainfed farming / Irrigation management / Wheat / Rice / Maize / Crop yield / Climate change / Agroecological zones / Crop modelling
Bhatti, Muhammad Tousif; Anwar, A. A.; Hussain, Kashif. 2023. Characterization and outlook of climatic hazards in an agricultural area of Pakistan. Scientific Reports, 13:9958. [DOI]
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Many dimensions of human life and the environment are vulnerable to anthropogenic climate change and the hazards associated with it. There are several indices and metrics to quantify climate hazards that can inform preparedness and planning at different levels e.g., global, regional, national, and local. This study uses biased corrected climate projections of temperature and precipitation to compute characteristics of potential climate hazards that are pronounced in the Gomal Zam Dam Command Area (GZDCA)— an irrigated agricultural area in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan. The results answer the question of what the future holds in the GZDCA regarding climate hazards of heatwaves, heavy precipitation, and agricultural drought. The results of heatwaves and agricultural drought present an alarming future and call for immediate actions for preparedness and adaptation. The magnitude of drought indices for the future is correlated with the crop yield response based on AquaCrop model simulations with observed climate data being used as input. This correlation provides insight into the suitability of various drought indices for agricultural drought characterization. The results elaborate on how the yield of wheat crop grown in a typical setting common in the South Asian region respond to the magnitude of drought indices. The findings of this study inform the planning process for changing climate and expected climate hazards in the GZDCA. Analyzing climate hazards for the future at the local level (administrative districts or contiguous agricultural areas) might be a more efficient approach for climate resilience due to its specificity and enhanced focus on the context.
Crop modelling / Crop yield / Disaster preparedness / Rainfall / Drought / Precipitation / Temperature / Climate prediction / Weather hazards / Climate change
Brouziyne, Youssef; El Bilali, A.; Epule, T. E.; Ongoma, V.; Elbeltagi, A.; Hallam, J.; Moudden, F.; Al-Zubi, Maha; Vadez, V.; McDonnell, Rachael. 2023. Towards lower greenhouse gas emissions agriculture in North Africa through climate-smart agriculture: a systematic review. Climate, 11(7):139. [DOI]
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North Africa (NA) is supposed to lower emissions in its agriculture to honor climate action commitments and to impulse sustainable development across Africa. Agriculture in North Africa has many assets and challenges that make it fit to use the tools of Climate-Smart Agriculture (CSA) for mitigation purposes. This study represents a first attempt to understand if CSA practices are sufficiently established in NA to contribute to reducing agriculture emissions. A PRISMA-inspired systematic review was carried out on an initial 147 studies retrieved from Scopus, Google Scholar, and the Web of Science databases, as well as from gray literature. 11 studies were included in the final analysis since they report the mitigation and co-benefits of CSA-based practices within NA. A bias risk was identified around the optimal inclusion of studies produced in French, and a specific plan was set for its minimization. Synthesis results revealed that most studies focused either on improving soil quality (nine studies) or managing enteric fermentation (two studies). The review revealed a poor establishment of the CSA framework in the region, especially in sequestering GHG emissions. A set of recommendations has been formulated to address the identified gaps from research orientations and organizational perspectives and empower the CSA as an ally for mitigation in north African agriculture.
Systematic reviews / Soil organic carbon / Conservation tillage / Agricultural practices / Carbon sequestration / Climate change mitigation / Emission reduction / Greenhouse gas emissions / Climate-smart agriculture
Osei-Amponsah, Charity; Quarmine, William; Wahabu, E. 2023. The place of social transformation analysis in vulnerability assessment for climate adaptation planning in Upper West Region, Ghana: a review synthesis. Climate Resilience and Sustainability, 2(3):e251. [DOI]
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Climate vulnerability could be influenced by transforming demographic, technological, cultural, political and economic factors, which cuts across global, regional, national and local scales. Such social transformations result in positive and negative outcomes, with implications for the adaptive capacities of resource-poor households, especially those headed by women. However, these transformations are usually not integrated in climate vulnerability assessments. Based on insights from a stakeholders’ brainstorming workshop and the synthesis of information from traditional literature review, this paper contributes to better understanding of the intersections of social transformation with climate vulnerabilities in the Upper West Region of Ghana. The review indicates that the region is experiencing social transformation triggered by technological, demographic and cultural factors, with implications for climate resilience building. For example, compared to the last decade, there is now an increased use of mobile phones, resulting in improved access to e-extension and climate-smart agriculture services. At the same time, an emerging trend of land commodification is driving poor households to sell or lease farming lands. Within the context of these transformations, climate vulnerability is still assessed through approaches that mainly focus on a ‘static’ view of the extent of exposure to climate hazards and their impacts on rural livelihoods. A social transformation analysis that promotes a systematic investigation of the transforming factors is proposed as an effective approach for vulnerability assessment in climate adaptation planning. This approach provides critical reflections on, and sustainable resilience interventions for addressing both changing biophysical and social vulnerabilities of rural communities.
Gender / Rural communities / Stakeholders / Climate resilience / Assessment / Vulnerability / Transformation / Social structure / Planning / Climate change adaptation
Shiferaw, B. A.; Reddy, V. R.; Sharma, Bharat. 2023. Groundwater governance under climate change in India: lessons based on evaluation of World Bank interventions. International Journal of Water Resources Development, 25p. (Online first) [DOI]
Groundwater is the single largest source of water for irrigation and domestic use in India. Climate change further exacerbates the threat of depletion, reducing food security and increasing the vulnerabilities of resource users. Governance is complicated by externalities associated with its attributes as an invisible and fluid resource which create problems of rivalry and exclusion. Based on theory-based case studies for evaluation of selected World Bank projects, we analyse challenges for groundwater governance and identify factors that contribute to depletion. It highlights the need for integrating and balancing demand and supply-side approaches, including water-efficient irrigation and climate-smart practices.
Case studies / Farmers / Villages / World Bank / Institutions / State intervention / Land productivity / Cropping systems / Agricultural productivity / Wells / Microirrigation / Water use / Regulations / Water policies / Food security / Vulnerability / Climate change / Groundwater depletion / Water governance / Groundwater management
Panjwani, Shweta; Kumar, S. N. 2023. Techniques to preprocess the climate projections—a review. Theoretical and Applied Climatology, 152(1-2):521-533. [DOI]
Model-derived climate projections have been used by decision-makers for climate change impact assessment, adaptation, and vulnerability studies at large scale. However, they are reported to have significant bias against observed data. The accuracy of dynamically downscaled data depends on the large-scale forcings; however, they still have some systematic errors, so it requires further bias correction. Before using these data for further studies, they need to be processed for performance evaluation. This review article provides current understanding in the field of analyzing global climate projections. It includes studies from the multi-criteria decision-making approaches along with its pros/cons to the performance evaluation of climate models. Moreover, this article discusses several bias correction approaches, multi-model ensemble approaches, and their applications for climate change studies.
Extreme weather events / Impact assessment / Decision making / Climatic data / Climate models / Climate change / Techniques / Climate prediction
Ouattara, Z. A.; Dongo, K.; Akpoti, Komlavi; Kabo-Bah, A. T.; Attiogbe, F.; Siabi, E. K.; Iweh, C. D.; Gogo, G. H. 2023. Assessment of solid and liquid wastes management and health impacts along the failed sewerage systems in capital cities of African countries: case of Abidjan, Cte d'Ivoire. Frontiers in Water, 5:1071686. [DOI]
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The management of domestic wastewater and rainwater is a major concern for the population of Yopougon. The study presents the causes of wastewater discharge from dysfunctional sewers and their health impacts on the population. It also highlights the environmental and health risk associated with poor solid and liquid waste management. This was based on literature search, semi-participatory workshop, physicochemical and bacteriological characterization of wastewater and finally through a household survey. The field survey was conducted on 245 household heads obtained using the Canadian statistical guidelines. The results obtained indicated that all main pollution indicators were; total nitrogen (TN, 525 0.02 to 3077 0.3 mg/l), nitrates (NO3, 146 0.01 to 1347 0.12 mg/l), biochemical oxygen demand (BOD, 278 195.16 to 645 391.74 mg/l), chemical oxygen demand (COD, 940 650.54 to 4050.5 71.42 mg/l) and total dissolved solids (TDS, 151 9.9 to 766 237.59 mg/l) which were above the values recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) and Cote dapos;Ivoire national policy guidelines standards for the discharge of effluents into the environment. The analysis of the bacterial flora of the effluents revealed that the concentrations of Total Coliforms and fecal streptococci exceeded the values recommended by the WHO and national policy guidelines standards. This means that the populations of this area are prone to infectious diseases. Diseases such as malaria (84.53%), respiratory infections (61%), diarrhea (48.66%), intestinal diseases (44.5%), and typhoid fever (28.84%) were prevalent in the surveyed households.
Households / Chemicophysical properties / Risk factors / Pollution indicators / Sanitation / Wastewater / Urban areas / Cities / Sewerage / Health hazards / Environmental impact / Liquid wastes / Solid wastes / Waste management
Raut, Manita; Varady, R. G.; Rajouria, Alok. 2023. Gender and social inclusion in community water resource management: lessons from two districts in the Himalayan foothills and the Terai in Nepal. Water International, 48(4):547-566. [DOI]
Despite decades of concerted efforts to address the problem, Nepal’s rural water supply sector continues to be laced with gender and social exclusion. This study provides insights from community water-user groups in two geographically and socially diverse contexts to better understand, from a gender and social inclusion perspective, and through institutional bricolage, how some water-user groups adapt to local contexts, shaping varied group dynamics that are not always equitable. Findings reveal that policies promoting social inclusion are difficult to implement amid the complex web of social and economic factors associated with community-managed water supply systems.
Sociocultural environment / Policies / Institutional development / Water user groups / Water supply / Rural areas / Community management / Water management / Water resources / Social inclusion / Gender
Varshney, Deepak; Meenakshi, J. V. 2023. Employment effects of an emergency assistance package for migrants displaced by COVID-19 in India. Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy, 19p. (Online first) [DOI]
This paper examines the employment effects of an emergency assistance package by the Indian government, the Garib Kalyan Rozgar Abhiyaan that had the sole objective of providing employment to returning migrants. It was targeted to 116 districts that had seen returning migrants in excess of 25,000, was limited in duration to 4 months, and was directed at top-up funding to public works and 25 other target sectors in rural areas. Using a sharp RD approach, we find that the intervention had substantive impacts on employment and in reducing rationing in public works and that it did so in a cost-effective manner. In contrast to the widespread impression of a slow-moving bureaucracy, these results point to an administrative machinery that was able to successfully implement this project within a relatively short period of time.
Rural areas / Households / Cost effectiveness analysis / State intervention / Social welfare / COVID-19 / Emergency relief / Migrants / Employment
Okem, Andrew Emmanuel. 2023. Assessing the performance of cooperatives in post-apartheid South Africa: evidence from the literature. Development Southern Africa, 15p. (Online first) [DOI]
While there is growing interest in the literature and policy circles regarding the performance of cooperatives in South Africa, no study has yet synthesised the body of knowledge on how to assess cooperative performance in the country. This paper aims to fill this gap by examining the literature on the performance of cooperatives in post-apartheid South Africa, based on a scoping review of 20 studies published between 1994 and 2021. Most of the reviewed studies adopted a qualitative approach, lacked a clear definition of cooperative performance and standardised metrics/criteria for assessing cooperative performance. The studies often relied on view of study participants to determine the performance of cooperatives. Moreover, the reviewed studies often framed the performance of cooperatives from an economic viewpoint. Clear definition of cooperatives, the development of robust indicators for assessing their performance and greater emphasis on quantitative studies on the performance of cooperatives in South Africa beyond economic and financial indicators is needed.
State intervention / Government / Indicators / Financing / Economic aspects / Apartheid / Performance assessment / Cooperatives
Siabi, E. K.; Phuong, D. N. D.; Kabobah, A. T.; Akpoti, Komlavi; Anornu, G.; Incoom, A. B. M.; Nyantakyi, E. K.; Yeboah, K. A.; Siabi, S. E.; Vuu, C.; Domfeh, M. K.; Mortey, E. M.; Wemegah, C. S.; Kudjoe, F.; Opoku, P. D.; Asare, A.; Mensah, S. K.; Donkor, P.; Opoku, E. K.; Ouattara, Z. A.; Obeng-Ahenkora, N. K.; Adusu, D.; Quansah, A. 2023. Projections and impact assessment of the local climate change conditions of the Black Volta Basin of Ghana based on the Statistical DownScaling Model. Journal of Water and Climate Change, 14(2):494-515. [DOI]
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The uncertainties and biases associated with Global Climate Models (GCMs) ascend from global to regional and local scales which delimits the applicability and suitability of GCMs in site-specific impact assessment research. The study downscaled two GCMs to evaluate effects of climate change (CC) in the Black Volta Basin (BVB) using Statistical DownScaling Model (SDSM) and 40-year ground station data. The study employed Taylor diagrams, dimensionless, dimensioned, and goodness of fit statistics to evaluate model performance. SDSM produced good performance in downscaling daily precipitation, maximum and minimum temperature in the basin. Future projections of precipitation by HadCM3 and CanESM2 indicated decreasing trend as revealed by the delta statistics and ITA plots. Both models projected near- to far-future increases in temperature and decreases in precipitation by 2.05-23.89, 5.41–46.35, and 5.84–35.33% in the near, mid, and far future respectively. Therefore, BVB is expected to become hotter and drier by 2100. As such, climate actions to combat detrimental effects on the BVB must be revamped since the basin hosts one of the largest hydropower dams in Ghana. The study is expected to support the integration of CC mitigation into local, national, and international policies, and support knowledge and capacity building to meet CC challenges.
Goal 13 Climate action / Goal 11 Sustainable Cities and Communities / Sustainable Development Goals / Policies / Temperature / Precipitation / River basins / Climate models / Trends / Impact assessment / Climate prediction / Climate change mitigation / Climate change adaptation
Siabi, E. K.; Awafo, E. A.; Kabo-bah, A. T.; Derkyi, N. S. A.; Akpoti, Komlavi; Mortey, E. M.; Yazdanie, M. 2023. Assessment of Shared Socioeconomic Pathway (SSP) climate scenarios and its impacts on the Greater Accra Region. Urban Climate, 49:101432. [DOI]
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The effects of climate change (CC) have intensified in Ghana, especially in the Greater Accra region over the last two decades. CC assessment under the new IPCC scenarios and consistent local station data is limited. Consequently, CC assessment is becoming difficult in data-scarce regions in Ghana. This study utilizes six different Regional Climate Models under the 6th IPCC Report’s Shared Socioeconomic Pathway scenarios (SSPs) of the CMIP6, which were bias-corrected with CMhyd over Greater Accra using ground station and PUGMF reanalysis data. The study reveals a reduction and potential shift in the intensity of precipitation in the region under the SSPs. Maximum temperature is expected to increase by 0.81–1.45 C, 0.84–1.54 C, 0.96–1.70 C and 0.98–1.73 C, while minimum temperature would likely increase by 1.33–2.02 C, 1.49–2.22 C, 1.71–4.75 C and 1.75–4.83 C under SSP1–2.6, SSP2–4.5, SSP3–7.0, and SSP5–8.5 scenarios, respectively. Thus, temperature will likely increase, especially at night in the near future. Rising temperatures and changes in precipitation have impacts on all strata of society, from agricultural production to power generation and beyond. These findings can help inform Ghanaian policymaking on Sustainable Development Goals 11 and 13 as well as nationally determined contributions within the Paris Agreement.
Goal 13 Climate action / Goal 11 Sustainable Cities and Communities / Sustainable Development Goals / Policies / Temperature / Precipitation / Climate models / Trends / Climate prediction / Urban areas / Assessment / Socioeconomic impact / Climate change
Ibrahim, I. A.; Lautze, Jonathan. 2023. How best to incorporate conjunctive water management into international water law: legal amendment, instrument coupling, or new protocol adoption? International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics, 23(3):333-353. [DOI]
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International water conventions—e.g., the 1997 United Nations Convention on the Non-Navigational Uses of International Watercourses—include positive but insufficient focus on groundwater and its interaction with surface water. As such, a growing body of literature has proposed modifications to existing frameworks to enable consideration to surface and groundwater and their interactions. While this literature places considerable focus on coupling and amending existing legal frameworks, elaboration and evaluation of a new protocol on conjunctive water management comprises a key gap. To fill this gap, this paper seeks to answer the following question: does formulation and adoption of a new “conjunctive” protocol provide more value than existing proposals centered around modifications to existing law? This paper seeks to compare benefits associated with current proposals to strengthen the international legal framework for management of surface–groundwater interaction, vis-a-vis adoption of a new protocol on conjunctive management of transboundary freshwaters. To do so, the authors use doctrinal legal methods to analyze the existing main instruments globally assessing the degree to which they consider key interlinkages between surface water and groundwater. Then, the paper examines the concept of conjunctive water management and deduces tenets that should be pursued in shared waters to achieve this objective. To identify the preferred option to support conjunctive water management in international water law, the paper explores the degree to which existing proposals vs a new protocol enable an embrace of these tenets of conjunctive water management. The paper finds that while a new protocol may add greater value in advancing conjunctive water management, multiple options can and should be concurrently pursued. In particular, the authors argue that new protocols to the existing treaties must be adopted in combination with the amendment of the Draft Articles on the Law of Transboundary Aquifers. Benefits of doing so include more effective management of transboundary freshwater resources that are interconnected hydrologically, a less fragmented and more consistent international water regime, and ultimately more benefits accruing to the populations and environmental goods dependent on shared water resources.
Treaties / International agreements / Policies / Water resources / Aquifers / Groundwater / Surface water / Conventions / Watercourses / Legal frameworks / Transboundary waters / Water law / International law / International waters / Conjunctive use / Water management
Gashaw, T.; Worqlul, A. W.; Lakew, Haileyesus; Taye, Meron Teferi; Seid, Abdulkarim; Haileslassie, Amare. 2023. Evaluations of satellite/reanalysis rainfall and temperature products in the Bale Eco-Region (southern Ethiopia) to enhance the quality of input data for hydro-climate studies. Remote Sensing Applications: Society and Environment, 31:100994. [DOI]
The sparse distribution and lack of meteorological stations due to deficit infrastructure in developing countries is one of the limiting factors for hydro-climate studies, and dependency on globally available data is often prone to various level of errors. Thus, this study aimed to evaluate the performance of satellite/reanalysis rainfall and temperature products in the Bale Eco-Region (BER) in Southern Ethiopia. This study evaluated performances of three rainfall products such as the Climate Hazards Group Infrared Precipitation with Stations, version 2.0 (CHIRPS v2.0), Tropical Applications of Meteorology using SATellite and ground-based observations, version 3.1 (TAMSAT v3.1) and Multi-Source Weighted-Ensemble Precipitation, version 2.8 (MSWEP v2.8). The two temperature products evaluated in this study are ERA5 and Modern-Era Retrospective Analysis for Research and Applications, version 2 (MERRA v2). Evaluations of these satellite/reanalysis rainfall and temperature products were undertaken against observed data (1995–2014) in temperate, sub-tropical and tropical agro-ecological zones (AEZs) across multiple temporal scales ranging from the daily to annual. For assessing the performances of satellite/reanalysis rainfall and temperature products, a point-pixel evaluation approach was undertaken using five continuous evaluation scores such as correlation coefficient (R), mean absolute error (MAE), root mean square error (RMSE), percent bias (PBIAS) and Kling–Gupta efficiency (KGE). Categorical sores such as Probability of Detection (POD), False Alarm Ratio (FAR) and Frequency Bias Index (FBI) were also used for assessing the rainfall products. The findings revealed that MSWEP v2.8 has better performance than CHIRPS v2.0 and TAMSAT v3.1 in temperate and tropical AEZs at the daily, dry season and annual time steps as well as in sub-tropical AEZ in dry season and annual temporal periods, but MSWEP v2.8 displayed comparable performance with TAMSAT v3.1 in the daily time step. CHIRPS v2.0 exhibit superior performance in the monthly time scale in the three AEZs as well as in the wet season in temperate and tropical AEZs, but TAMSAT v3.1 has outperformed than CHIRPS v2.0 in the wet season in sub-tropical AEZ. The finding also indicated that the capability of MSWEP v2.8 to detect the rainy days (79–86%) and frequency of rainy days (0.99–1.79) is better than CHIRPS v2.0 and TAMSAT v3.1, but TAMSAT v3.1 has shown the best performance for identifying the non-rainy days (14–38%) than MSWEP v2.8 and CHIRPS v2.0. With regard to temperature, MERRA v2 outperformed over ERA5 in temperate and tropical AEZs for estimating both maximum and minimum temperatures from the daily to annual time scales, but ERA5 has shown superior performance than MERRA v2 in the sub-tropical AEZ. In view of the finding, we concluded that the best performing rainfall and temperature products for each AEZ can be used for data scarce regions such as the BER. The findings of this study provid
Estimation / Meteorological stations / Agroecological zones / Precipitation / Hydroclimate / Satellite observation / Evaluation / Models / Temperature / Rainfall
Leggesse, E. S.; Zimale, F. A.; Sultan, D.; Enku, T.; Srinivasan, R.; Tilahun, Seifu A. 2023. Predicting optical water quality indicators from remote sensing using machine learning algorithms in tropical highlands of Ethiopia. Hydrology, 10(5):110. [DOI]
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Water quality degradation of freshwater bodies is a concern worldwide, particularly in Africa, where data are scarce and standard water quality monitoring is expensive. This study explored the use of remote sensing imagery and machine learning (ML) algorithms as an alternative to standard field measuring for monitoring water quality in large and remote areas constrained by logistics and finance. Six machine learning (ML) algorithms integrated with Landsat 8 imagery were evaluated for their accuracy in predicting three optically active water quality indicators observed monthly in the period from August 2016 to April 2022: turbidity (TUR), total dissolved solids (TDS) and Chlorophyll a (Chl-a). The six ML algorithms studied were the artificial neural network (ANN), support vector machine regression (SVM), random forest regression (RF), XGBoost regression (XGB), AdaBoost regression (AB), and gradient boosting regression (GB) algorithms. XGB performed best at predicting Chl-a, with an R2 of 0.78, Nash–Sutcliffe efficiency (NSE) of 0.78, mean absolute relative error (MARE) of 0.082 and root mean squared error (RMSE) of 9.79 g/L. RF performed best at predicting TDS (with an R2 of 0.79, NSE of 0.80, MARE of 0.082, and RMSE of 12.30 mg/L) and TUR (with an R2 of 0.80, NSE of 0.81, and MARE of 0.072 and RMSE of 7.82 NTU). The main challenges were data size, sampling frequency, and sampling resolution. To overcome the data limitation, we used a K-fold cross validation technique that could obtain the most out of the limited data to build a robust model. Furthermore, we also employed stratified sampling techniques to improve the ML modeling for turbidity. Thus, this study shows the possibility of monitoring water quality in large freshwater bodies with limited observed data using remote sensing integrated with ML algorithms, potentially enhancing decision making.
Lakes / Highlands / Monitoring / Satellite imagery / Landsat / Chlorophyll A / Turbidity / Total dissolved solids / Modelling / Neural networks / Algorithms / Machine learning / Remote sensing / Prediction / Indicators / Water quality
Kawarazuka, N.; Mabhaudhi, Tafadzwanashe; Green, R.; Scheelbeek, P.; Ambikapathi, R.; Robinson, J.; Mangnus, E.; Bene, C.; Cavatassi, R.; Kalita, U.; Gelcich, S.; Cheserek, M.; Mbago-Bhunu, S.; Trevenen-Jones, A. 2023. Inclusive diets within planetary boundaries. One Earth, 6(5):443-448. [DOI]
Our food production system is unsustainable and threatening planetary boundaries. Yet, a quarter of the global population still lacks access to safe and nutritious food, while suboptimal diets account for 11 million adult deaths per year. This Voices asks: what critical barriers must be overcome to enable sustainable, healthy, accessible, and equitable diets for all?
Stakeholders / Economic aspects / Feeding preferences / Nutrition / Food production / Underutilized species / Food systems / Gender / Inclusion / Healthy diets
Maru, H.; Haileslassie, Amare; Zeleke, T. 2023. Impacts of small-scale irrigation on farmers’ livelihood: evidence from the drought prone areas of Upper Awash Sub-Basin, Ethiopia. Heliyon, 9(5):e16354. [DOI]
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Irrigation is an important mechanism to mitigate risks associated with the variability in rainfall for the smallholder subsistence farming system. This study analyzed how practicing small-scale irrigation (SSI) impacts the key livelihood assets on farm households’ human, physical, natural, financial, and social capitals in Ethiopia’s upper Awash sub-basin. The household-level survey data, collected from the 396 sample households, was used to carry out the current study. A Propensity Score Matching (PSM) analytical model was applied to match the SSI user and nonuser groups. The difference between the five capital assets of livelihood was estimated using the PSM’s Nearest Neighbor, Radius, Kernel Mahalanobis, and Stratification matching criteria. The results indicated that farmers’ participation in SSI has enhanced the capital assets of the farm households. Compared to the non-users, the irrigation users were better off in the number variety of food consumed (0.28 0.13 Standard Error [SE]), types of crops produced (0.60 0.17 SE), expenditures on land renting, and agricultural inputs (3118 877 SE) measured in Ethiopian Birr (ETB), as well as on-farm (9024 2267 SE ETB) and non-farm (3766 1466 SE ETB) incomes. Challenges such as the involvement of local brokers in the market value chain and the absence of farmers’ marketing cooperatives have reduced the benefit of irrigated agriculture. Hence, the expansion of SSI schemes for the non-user farmers should consider improving the water usage mechanism and productivity, establishing proper water allocation institutions between up and down streams and limiting the role of brokers in the irrigation product marketing chain be future policy directions.
Poverty / Socioeconomic aspects / Rainfall / Drought / Assets / Social capital / Natural capital / Human capital / Propensity score matching / Livelihoods / Farmer participation / Smallholders / Small-scale irrigation
Ali, H.; Menza, M.; Hagos, Fitsum; Haileslassie, Amare. 2023. Impact of climate smart agriculture on households’ resilience and vulnerability: an example from Central Rift Valley, Ethiopia. Climate Resilience and Sustainability, 2(2):e254. [DOI]
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Climate change is causing serious challenges for smallholder farm households, especially in sub-Saharan Africa. The overarching objectives of this study are as follows: (i) to estimate household resilience and vulnerability indices, (ii) identify factors that explain these indices and (iii) to examine the impact of climate-smart agriculture (CSA) on households’ resilience and vulnerability, and (iv) to identify which CSA package performs better in enhancing resilience and reducing vulnerability. For this study, 278 farm households from 4 districts and 8 kebeles from the Central Rift Valley (CRV) of Ethiopia were randomly selected using a three-stage proportional to size sampling procedure. Cross-sectional data applying a structured and pretested survey questionnaire was collected for 2020/21 production season. Household resilience and vulnerability indices were estimated using resilience index and measurement analysis and indicators approaches, respectively. Multinomial endogenous switching regression was used to estimate the average treatment effects (ATEs) of the adoption of CSA practices on households’ resilience and vulnerability. The results show that livestock holding, land size, level of education, and state of food consumption are major explaining factors of resilience, whereas educational level of households, livestock holding, and access to credit are found to be major factors explaining vulnerability. The estimated ATEs indicate that households which adopted more diversified combinations of CSA packages were more resilient and less vulnerable than non-adopter households. The impacts of soil fertility management and conservation agriculture practices have better performance in improving resilience, whereas conservation agriculture and small-scale irrigation performed better in reducing the vulnerability of rural households in CRV. Boosting resilience and reducing vulnerability, hence, requires scaling up CSA among smallholder farmers by diversifying and raising farm households’ income, educational status, and livestock holding.
Food consumption / Livestock / Rural areas / Mitigation / Agricultural practices / Climate change / Farmers / Smallholders / Indicators / Vulnerability / Climate resilience / Households / Climate-smart agriculture
Ouattara, Z. A.; Kabo-Bah, A. T.; Dongo, K.; Akpoti, Komlavi; Siabi, E. K.; Kablan, M. K. A.; Kangah, K. M. 2023. Operational and structural diagnosis of sewerage and drainage networks in Cte d’Ivoire, West Africa. Frontiers in Sustainable Cities, 5:1032459. [DOI]
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In Cote d’Ivoire, the failure of urban sewage systems is a crucial problem for the drainage of wastewater and rainwater. This failure is due to many factors and therefore, calls for diagnostic studies. The present study aimed at analyzing these networks in order to identify the dierent factors that contribute to the operational and structural degradation in selected sewerage and drainage networks in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire. The method used in the study involved semi-structured interviews, video camera inspection and socio-environmental field surveys (geographical survey and household survey), followed by descriptive statistics. The results revealed that many structural, environmental and behavioral practice contribute to the progressive degradation of urban sewage systems. These factors are essentially those that prevent the normal flow of wastewater in the pipes such as the illegal dumping of solid waste, the unauthorized connection of wastewater networks, unsustainable urban agricultural practices, as well as the high concentration of vegetation on both sides of the network and the dilapidated infrastructure of the wastewater and rainwater networks. It was found that these factors are at the origin of the clogging and degradation of the sewers since 85% of the residents used these sewers as a dumping ground for solid waste.
Models / Vegetation / Rainwater / Sanitation / Environmental factors / Socioeconomic aspects / Anthropogenic factors / Urbanization / Infiltration / Waste disposal / Household wastes / Solid wastes / Wastewater / Waste management / Drainage systems / Sewerage
Ouattara, Z. A.; Kabo-Bah, A. T.; Dongo, K.; Akpoti, Komlavi. 2023. A review of sewerage and drainage systems typologies with case study in Abidjan, Cte d'Ivoire: failures, policy and management techniques perspectives. Cogent Engineering, 10(1):2178125. [DOI]
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The failure of sewage and drainage systems in SubSaharan African cities is frequent and can be considered as a critical issue, both from an environmental standpoint and in terms of associated maintenance costs. This study analyzes the state of the sanitation systems, the elements behind the failures, the environmental concepts used to classify the problems, and the tools and methodological alternatives for ranking the various management solutions. This research illustrates the causes that contribute to the dysfunctions in the sewage systems of Abidjan as a typical example of sewerage systems management challenges in SubSaharan Africa’s large cities. Poor solid waste and wastewater management practices by residents, e.g., illegal dumping of solid waste into the sewers, unauthorized and defective connections to the network, structural dysfunctions related to the age of the network (cracked, denuded, or broken), urban agriculture in the vicinity of the channels, natural phenomena such as erosion, landslides in the undeveloped parts, and the high concentration of vegetation in the network, wholly contribute to the degradation of the network. A variety of decision support systems for the management of the assets of the urban sewage network were presented. The instruments have been categorized based on their capacity and functionality. The operating concept of each of these tools has been outlined, as well as their respective data needs. In addition, the study analyzes challenges related to the usage of existing decision support systems and provides an outlook on future research requirements in this area. This study offers a detailed analysis of the issues of sanitation management and could serve as a reference for other emerging nations in SubSaharan Africa.
Case studies / Institutions / Models / Decision support systems / Sanitation / Wastewater / Solid wastes / Cities / Urban areas / Management techniques / Policies / Drainage systems / Sewerage
Patra, K.; Parihar, C. M.; Nayak, H. S.; Rana, B.; Sena, Dipaka R.; Anand, A.; Reddy, K. S.; Chowdhury, M.; Pandey, R.; Kumar, A.; Singh, L. K.; Ghatala, M. K.; Sidhu, H. S.; Jat, M. L. 2023. Appraisal of complementarity of subsurface drip fertigation and conservation agriculture for physiological performance and water economy of maize. Agricultural Water Management, 283:108308. [DOI]
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The Indo-Gangetic Plains (IGP) in north-west (NW) India are facing a severe decline in ground water due to prevalent rice-based cropping systems. To combat this issue, conservation agriculture (CA) with an alternative crop/s, such as maize, is being promoted. Recently, surface drip fertigation has also been evaluated as a viable option to address low-nutrient use efficiency and water scarcity problems for cereals. While the individual benefits of CA and sub-surface drip (SSD) irrigation on water economy are well-established, information regarding their combined effect in cereal-based systems is lacking. Therefore, we conducted a two-year field experiment in maize, under an ongoing CA-based maize-wheat system, to evaluate the complementarity of CA with SSD irrigation through two technological interventions–– CA+ (residue retained CA + SSD), PCA+ (partial CA without residue + SSD) – at different N rates (0, 120 and 150 kg N ha-1) in comparison to traditional furrow irrigated (FI) CA and conventional tillage (CT) at 120 kg N ha-1. Our results showed that CA+ had the highest grain yield (8.2 t ha-1), followed by PCA+ (8.1 t ha-1). The grain yield under CA+ at 150 kg N ha-1 was 27% and 30% higher than CA and CT, respectively. Even at the same N level (120 kg N ha-1), CA+ outperformed CA and CT by 16% and 18%, respectively. The physiological performance of maize also revealed that CA+ based plots with 120 kg N ha-1 had 12% and 3% higher photosynthesis rate at knee-high and silking, respectively compared to FI-CA and CT. Overall, compared to the FI-CA and CT, SSD-based CA+ and PCA+ saved 54% irrigation water and increased water productivity (WP) by more than twice. Similarly, a greater number of split N application through fertigation in PCA+ and CA+ increased agronomic nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) and recover efficiency by 8–19% and 14–25%, respectively. Net returns from PCA+ and CA+ at 150 kg N ha-1 were significantly higher by US$ 491 and 456, respectively than the FI-CA and CT treatments. Therefore, CA coupled with SSD provided tangible benefits in terms of yield, irrigation water saving, WP, NUE and profitability. Efforts should be directed towards increasing farmers’ awareness of the benefits of such promising technology for the cultivating food grains and commercial crops such as maize. Concurrently, government support and strict policies are required to enhance the system adaptability.
Technology / Economic analysis / Crop yield / Leaf area index / Residues / Tillage / Water-use efficiency / Irrigation methods / Irrigation water / Irrigation management / Photosynthesis / Maize / Water productivity / Nitrogen-use efficiency / Drip irrigation / Drip fertigation / Subsurface irrigation / Conservation agriculture
Karg, H.; Akoto-Danso, E. K.; Amprako, L.; Drechsel, Pay; Nyarko, G.; Lompo, D. J.-P.; Ndzerem, S.; Sidibe, S.; Hoschek, M.; Buerkert, A. 2023. A spatio-temporal dataset on food flows for four West African cities. Scientific Data, 10:263. [DOI]
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Gaining insight into the food sourcing practices of cities is important to understand their resilience to climate change, economic crisis, as well as pandemics affecting food supply and security. To fill existing knowledge gaps in this area food flow data were collected in four West African cities - Bamako (Mali), Bamenda (Cameroon), Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso), and Tamale (Ghana). The data cover, depending on the city, road, rail, boat, and air traffic. Surveys were conducted for one week on average during the peak harvest, lean, and rainy seasons, resulting in a dataset of over 100,000 entries for 46 unprocessed food commodities. The data collected includes information on the key types of transportation used, quantity, source, and destination of the food flows. The data were used to delineate urban foodsheds and to identify city-specific factors constraining rural-urban linkages. The data can also be employed to inform academic and policy discussions on urban food system sustainability, to validate other datasets, and to plan humanitarian aid and food security interventions.
Modes of transport / Virtual water / Food products / Food security / Datasets / Cities / Markets / Commodities / Food systems / Rural-urban food supply chains
Woldetsadik, D.; Hailu, H.; Gebrezgabher, Solomie; Adam-Bradford, A.; Mengistu, T.; Evans, C. T.; Madani, N.; Mafika, T. P.; Fleming, D. E. B. 2023. Estimating the potential of spices for mineral provision in a refugee context in East Africa. SN Applied Sciences, 5(1):1. [DOI]
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Micronutrient deficiency remains an enormous problem in refugee settings. Transforming refugees’ food systems through the scaling up of kitchen gardening and fortifying relief food crops with minor food components including nutrient-dense spices can help improve the quality of staple foods. Globally, spices are indispensable in the daily diet and play an important role in the socio-cultural setting of different communities. Forty turmeric and curry powder samples were collected from different market establishments and geographic locations in East Africa. The samples were analyzed for selected elements using Portable X-Ray Fluorescence (PXRF). The contents of potassium (K), calcium (Ca), zinc (Zn) and strontium (Sr) in turmeric powder were statistically different among geographic origins (Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda). We also aimed to determine if a small portion of spices (turmeric (5 g) and curry (4 g)) would contribute to an adequate intake (AI) or recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for selected minerals, for refugee men and women aged between 19 and 50 years as defined by the Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine (IOM). For the reference groups, the contributions of turmeric and curry powder to AI/RDA for K, Ca and Zn varied between 0.48 to 4.13%. On the other hand, turmeric was identified to contribute gt; 20% AI/RDA for refugee men and women aged between 19 and 50 years for two micro minerals: manganese (Mn) and iron (Fe). Considering turmeric and curry powder of East African origins are good sources of minerals and present acceptable toxic metal(loid)s loads coupled with low cost, these spices particularly turmeric should be more widely popularized and recommended for food-to-spice fortification among the refugee population located in East Africa.
Turmeric / Minerals / Spices / Nutrition / Recommended dietary allowances / Refugees
Heidler, A.; Nesi, Muhil; Nikiema, J.; Luthi, C. 2023. Multilateral development banks investment behaviour in water and sanitation: findings and lessons from 60 years of investment projects in Africa and Asia. Journal of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene for Development, 13(5):362-374. [DOI]
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Multilateral development banks (MDBs) play a pivotal role in financing water and sanitation infrastructure projects and thus have a major impact on the development of basic services. Although information about the MDBs’ investments is publicly available, it is dispersed and not easily comparable. A comprehensive compilation of MDBs’ water and sanitation investments has long been lacking. To address this gap, we assess water and sanitation financing by the three MDBs most relevant to Africa and Asia between 1960 and 2020: the World Bank, the African Development Bank, and the Asian Development Bank. We compile a new dataset by drawing on 3,639 water and sanitation projects and assess territorial trends, technology choices, distribution of financial burdens, and reforms to institutional arrangements. We find that MDBs’ investments align with changing patterns of urbanization and increasingly finance sanitation infrastructures including non-sewered technologies. However, our results also suggest that institutional reforms have addressed utility efficiency through investment in equipment and skills rather than through increased commercialization and private sector participation. The leverage effect of MDB investment on private financing is negligible, whereas co-financing from local governments dominates.
Policies / Public-private partnerships / Institutional reform / Investment / Development banks / Multilateral organizations / Goal 6 Clean water and sanitation / Sustainable Development Goals / Water supply
Ahmed, N.; Zhu, L.; Wang, G.; Adeyeri, O. E.; Shah, S.; Ali, S.; Marhaento, H.; Munir, Sarfraz. 2023. Occurrence and distribution of long-term variability in precipitation classes in the source region of the Yangtze River. Sustainability, 15(7):5834. (Special issue: Hydro-Meteorology and its Application in Hydrological Modeling) [DOI]
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Various precipitation-related studies have been conducted on the Yangtze River. However, the topography and atmospheric circulation regime of the Source Region of the Yangtze River (SRYZ) differ from other basin parts. Along with natural uniqueness, precipitation constitutes over 60% of the direct discharge in the SRYZ, which depicts the decisive role of precipitation and a necessary study on the verge of climate change. The study evaluates the event distribution of long-term variability in precipitation classes in the SRYZ. The precipitation was classified into three precipitation classes: light precipitation (0–5 mm, 5–10 mm), moderate precipitation (10–15 mm, 15–20 mm, 20–25 mm), and heavy precipitation (gt;25 mm). The year 1998 was detected as a changing year using the Pettitt test in the precipitation time series; therefore, the time series was divided into three scenarios: Scenario-R (1961–2016), the pre-change point (Scenario-I; 1961–1998), and the post-change point (Scenario-II; 1999–2016). Observed annual precipitation amounts in the SRYZ during Scenario-R and Scenario-I significantly increased by 13.63 mm/decade and 48.8 mm/decade, respectively. The same increasing trend was evident in seasonal periods. On a daily scale, light precipitation (0–5 mm) covered most of the days during the entire period, with rainy days accounting for 83.50%, 84.5%, and 81.30%. These rainy days received up to 40%, 41%, and 38% of the annual precipitation during Scenario-R, Scenario-I, and Scenario-II, respectively. Consequently, these key findings of the study will be helpful in basin-scale water resources management.
Vegetation / Dry spells / Hydrological factors / Time series analysis / Drought / Rainfall / Rivers / Trends / Precipitation / Climate change
Negash, E. D.; Asfaw, Wegayehu; Walsh, C. L.; Mengistie, G. K.; Haile, Alemseged Tamiru. 2023. Effects of land use land cover change on streamflow of Akaki Catchment, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Sustainable Water Resources Management, 9(3):78. [DOI]
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Evaluation of the hydrological impact of urbanization-induced land use land cover (LULC) changes for medium to large catchments is still an important research topic due to the lack of evidence to conclude about how local changes translate to impacts across scales. This study aims to provide evidence on the effects of LULC change on the streamflow of the Akaki catchment that hosts Addis Ababa, the capital city of Ethiopia. Since the comparative performance of classification algorithms is poorly understood, we compared the performance of one parametric and five non-parametric machine learning methods for LULC mapping using Landsat imageries. To investigate the effect of LULC changes on streamflow, a semi-distributed HEC-HMS model was calibrated and validated using daily discharge data at multiple sites. Findings of this study showed that: (i) the accuracy of classification and regression tree (CART) was superior to the other classifiers, (ii) from 1990 to 2020, urban and forest cover increased at the expense of agricultural and bare land, (iii) the performance of the HEC-HMS model was acceptable at all stations during both the calibration and validation periods, and (iv) the mean annual and main rainy seasonal streamflow of the catchment experienced significant increases due to LULC change but the simulated streamflow changes highly varied with the type of LULC classifier. This study contributes to the limited evidence on how catchments, with rapidly developing cities are prone to hydrological regime changes that need to be recognized, understood and quantified, and incorporated into urban planning and development.
Models / Machine learning / Hydrological factors / Reservoirs / Rivers / Urbanization / Stream flow / Catchment areas / Land cover change / Land use change
Joshi, Deepa; Panagiotou, A.; Bisht, Meera; Udalagama, Upandha; Schindler, Alexandra. 2023. Digital ethnography? Our experiences in the use of SenseMaker for understanding gendered climate vulnerabilities amongst marginalized agrarian communities. Sustainability, 15(9):7196. (Special issue: Gender and Socially-Inclusive Approaches to Technology for Climate Action) [DOI]
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Digital innovations and interventions can potentially revolutionize agri-food systems, especially in coping with climate challenges. On a similar note, digital research tools and methods are increasingly popular for the efficient collection and analysis of real-time, large-scale data. It is claimed that these methods can also minimize subjective biases that are prevalent in traditional qualitative research. However, given the digital divide, especially affecting women and marginalized communities, these innovations could potentially introduce further disparities. To assess these contradictions, we piloted SenseMaker, a digital ethnography tool designed to capture individual, embodied experiences, biases, and perceptions to map vulnerabilities and resilience to climate impacts in the Gaya District in Bihar. Our research shows that this digital tool allows for a systematic co-design of the research framework, allows for the collection of large volumes of data in a relatively short time, and a co-analysis of the research data by the researchers and the researched. This process allowed us to map and capture the complexities of intersectional inequalities in relation to climate change vulnerability. However, we also noted that the application of the tool is influenced by the prior exposure to technology (digital devices) of both the enumerators and researched groups and requires significant resources when implemented in contexts where there is a need to translate the data from local dialects and languages to more dominant languages (English). Most importantly, perceptions, positionalities, and biases of researchers can significantly impact the design of the tool’s signification framework, reiterating the fact that researcher bias persists regardless of technological innovations in research methodology.
Social aspects / Technology / Transdisciplinary research / Agriculture / Women / Gender / Marginalization / Communities / Vulnerability / Climate change / Ethnography
Adamseged, Muluken Elias; Kebede, S. W. 2023. Are farmers’ climate change adaptation strategies understated? Evidence from two communities in northern Ethiopian highlands. Climate Services, 30:100369. [DOI]
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Research and policy analyses of climate change adaptation in Africa are often centre to examine adjustments in agricultural operations. This mainly bases on a misconception that rural households merely depend on agriculture for their livelihoods. This research aimed at positioning livelihood (farm and non-farm activities) as the centre of climate adaptation strategies to better understand rural households’ adaptation strategic options and capacities, using two rural communities in the Northern highlands of Ethiopia. The result showed that rural households have broader options both in farm and non-farm strategies for combating adverse climate condition than previously reported. A strong and positive association are found between wealth indicators such as farm size (0.08) and productive assets (0.0917) with farm-level adaptation strategies such as short maturing crop and irrigation. Non-farm adaptation strategies (such as business activities and wage employment) are, mainly, influenced by household demographic characteristics such as age of the household head (0.01) and adult household size (0.09). This indicates that there is no specific adaptation strategy panacea for rural households. Rather, rural households use a mix of strategies to meet the particular agro-ecological settings (for farm-level adaptation strategies), and infrastructure and the location of the community, which enable to access market and other services (for non-farm adaptation strategies). Thus, national level climate policies and strategies need to be tailored to address the specific agro-ecology, and infrastructure of the local area and the socio-economic context of the households in the two communities. In this regard, the different levels of government and nongovernmental organizations should provide more adaptation measures on agricultural extension services, access to loans, roads, transport, market, knowledge and creation of wage employment and business opportunities in the vicinity of rural communities and its surrounding towns.
Migration / Socioeconomic aspects / Rainfall / Irrigation / Soil conservation / Rural communities / Households / Livelihoods / Strategies / Farmers / Climate change adaptation
Mapedza, Everisto. 2023. Managing African commons in the context of Covid-19 challenges. International Journal of the Commons, 17(1):105-108. (Special issue: Managing African Commons in the Context of Covid-19 Challenges) [DOI]
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COVID-19 / Communities / Customary tenure / Water tenure / Co-management / Forestry / Climate change / Gender / Commons
Hao, L.; Wang, P.; Gojenko, B.; Yu, J.; Lv, A.; Li, F.; Kenjabaev, Shavkat; Kulmatov, R.; Khikmatov, F. 2023. Five decades of freshwater salinization in the Amu Darya River Basin. Journal of Hydrology: Regional Studies, 47:101375. [DOI]
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Study region: The Amu Darya River (ADR) basin in Central Asia. Study focus: To understand the spatiotemporal patterns and underlying driving mechanisms of river salinization in arid environments, this study gathered 50 years (1970–2019) of water chemistry data from 12 locations along the ADR. The variations in discharge and salinity were assessed by a linear regression model and violin plot. The salinity-discharge relationships were evaluated by a general hyperbolic model and Spearman’s rank correlation coefficient. Random forest models were also constructed to identify the predominant drivers of river water salinization. Finally, a conceptual model of river water salinization was constructed. New hydrological insights for the region: The water salinity (S) in the upper stream of the ADR was 541–635 mg/L. Salinity showed an increasing trend along the river course, reaching 751–1560 mg/L downstream. In the downstream, the river salinity before the 1990 s (751–1128 mg/L) was slightly lower than that after the 1990 s (983–1560 mg/L). Generally, water salinity was notably correlated with river discharge (Q) in upstream, exhibiting a relationship of S= 17,497Q- 0.62, p lt; 0.05, before the 1990 s. Interannual variation in river salinity is mainly controlled by secondary salinization, and intra-annual variation is controlled by river flow. From upstream to downstream, the controlling salinization process changes from primary salinization to secondary salinization. Specifically, secondary salinization has accelerated due to intensified agricultural activities in recent years.
Models / Seasonal variation / Spatial variations / Hydrology / Discharges / Agriculture / Climate change / Salinity / River basins / Salinization / Freshwater
Bangira, T.; Mutanga, O.; Sibanda, M.; Dube, T.; Mabhaudhi, Tafadzwanashe. 2023. Remote sensing grassland productivity attributes: a systematic review. Remote Sensing, 15(8):2043. [DOI]
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A third of the land on the Earth is composed of grasslands, mainly used for forage. Much effort is being conducted to develop tools to estimate grassland productivity (GP) at different extents, concentrating on spatial and seasonal variability pertaining to climate change. GP is a reliable indicator of how well an ecosystem works because of its close connection to the ecological system equilibrium. The most commonly used proxies of GP in ecological studies are aboveground biomass (AGB), leaf area index (LAI), canopy storage capacity (CSC), and chlorophyll and nitrogen content. Grassland science gains much information from the capacity of remote sensing (RS) techniques to calculate GP proxies. An overview of the studies on RS-based GP prediction techniques and a discussion of current matters determining GP monitoring are critical for improving future GP prediction performance. A systematic review of articles published between 1970 and October 2021 (203 peer-reviewed articles from Web of Science, Scopus, and ScienceDirect databases) showed a trend in the choice of the sensors, and the approaches to use are largely dependent on the extent of monitoring and assessment. Notably, all the reviewed articles demonstrate the growing demand for high-resolution sensors, such as hyperspectral scanners and computationally efficient image-processing techniques for the high prediction accuracy of GP at various scales of application. Further research is required to attract the synthesis of optical and radar data, multi-sensor data, and the selection of appropriate techniques for GP prediction at different scales. Mastering and listing major uncertainties associated with different algorithms for the GP prediction and pledging to reduce these errors are critical.
Vegetation index / Nitrogen content / Chlorophylls / Canopy / Above ground biomass / Leaf area index / Ecosystem services / Techniques / Monitoring / Estimation / Remote sensing / Prediction / Productivity / Grasslands
Hosney, H.; Tawfik, Mohamed Hassan; Duker, A.; van der Steen, P. 2023. Prospects for treated wastewater reuse in agriculture in low- and middle-income countries: systematic analysis and decision-making trees for diverse management approaches. Environmental Development, 46:100849. [DOI]
The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is suffering from severe water scarcity. Decision-makers in MENA are tackling this challenge by tapping the potential of reusing treated wastewater in agriculture so that large volumes of freshwater sources can be released for priority domestic needs. This aligns with the global efforts to make wastewater reuse mainstream in developing countries by overcoming the technological, infrastructural, health, and socio-cultural barriers that are limiting the expansion of wastewater reuse in agriculture. In this regard, this paper analyses the management modalities of wastewater reuse practices in agriculture in MENA by studying two case studies from Egypt and Jordan. The result of this analysis is a proposed decision-tree tool to help decision-makers in making optimal wastewater reuse decisions based on contextual factors including agricultural field demands, location, freshwater resources, sanitation coverage, and infrastructure, as well as regulations, policies, and restrictions for wastewater reuse. The decision-tree framework was operationalized and validated using the two case studies. The decision tree proved to be an effective framework in assisting decision-makers in making the optimum choice for wastewater reuse in agriculture. It aided the decision maker in evaluating potential reuse options and selecting between several courses of action.
Case studies / Institutions / Stakeholders / Wastewater treatment / Irrigation water / Agriculture / Wastewater irrigation / Decision making / Wastewater management / Water reuse
Sishu, F. K.; Tilahun, Seifu A.; Schmitter, Petra; Steenhuis, T. S. 2023. Investigating nitrate with other constituents in groundwater in two contrasting tropical highland watersheds. Hydrology, 10(4):82. (Special issue: Editorial Board Members’ Collection Series: Integrated Surface Water and Groundwater Resources Management) [DOI]
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Nitrate is globally the most widespread and widely studied groundwater contaminant. However, few studies have been conducted in sub-Saharan Africa, where the leaching potential is enhanced during the rainy monsoon phase. The few monitoring studies found concentrations over drinking water standards of 10 mg N-NO3 - L -1 in the groundwater, the primary water supply in rural communities. Studies on nitrate movement are limited to the volcanic Ethiopian highlands. Therefore, this study aimed to evaluate the transport and fate of nitrate in groundwater and identify processes that control the concentrations. Water table height, nitrate, chloride, ammonium, reduced iron, and three other groundwater constituents were determined monthly in the groundwater in over 30 wells in two contrasting volcanic watersheds over two years in the Ethiopian highlands. The first watershed was Dangishta, with lava intrusion dikes that blocked the subsurface flow in the valley bottom. The water table remained within 3 m of the surface. The second watershed without volcanic barriers was Robit Bata. The water table dropped rapidly within three months of the end of the rain phase and disappeared except near faults. The average nitrate concentration in both watersheds was between 4 and 5 mg N-NO3 - L -1 . Hydrogeology influenced the transport and fate of nitrogen. In Dangishta, water was blocked by volcanic lava intrusion dikes, and residence time in the aquifer was larger than in Robit Bata. Consequently, nitrate remained high (in several wells, 10 mg N-NO3 - L -1 ) and decreased slowly due to denitrification. In Robit Bata, the water residence time was lower, and peak concentrations were only observed in the month after fertilizer application; otherwise, it was near an average of 4 mg N-NO3 - L -1 . Nitrate concentrations were predicted using a multiple linear regression model. Hydrology explained the nitrate concentrations in Robit Bata. In Dangishta, biogeochemistry was also significant.
Runoff / Fertilizers / Ammonia / Chlorides / Rainfall / Precipitation / Wells / Aquifers / Volcanic areas / Highlands / Watersheds / Nitrates / Groundwater table
Pandey, V. P.; Shrestha, Nirman; Urfels, A.; Ray, A.; Khadka, Manohara; Pavelic, Paul; McDonald, A. J.; Krupnik, T. J. 2023. Implementing conjunctive management of water resources for irrigation development: a framework applied to the Southern Plain of western Nepal. Agricultural Water Management, 283:108287. [DOI]
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Climate variability and insufficient irrigation are primary constraints to stable and higher agricultural productivity and food security in Nepal. Agriculture is the largest global freshwater user, and integration of surface- and ground-water use is frequently presented as an strategy for increasing efficiency as well as climate change adaptation. However, conjunctive management (CM) planning often ignores demand-side requirements and a broader set of sustainable development considerations, including ecosystem health and economics of different development strategies. While there is generic understanding of conjunctive use, detailed technical knowhow to realize the CM is lacking in Nepal. This article presents a holistic framework through literature reviews, stakeholders consultations and expert interviews for assessing CM and implementation prospects from a systems-level perspective. We demonstrate the framework through a case study in Western Nepal, where climatic variability and a lack of irrigation are key impediments to increased agricultural productivity and sustainable development. Results show that knowledge of water resources availability is good and that of water demand low in the Western Terai. Additional and coordinated investments are required to improve knowledge gaps as well as access to irrigation. There is therefore a need to assess water resources availability, water access, use and productivity, to fill the knowledge gaps in order to pave pathways for CM. This paper also discusses some strategies to translate prospects of conjunctive management into implementation.
Case studies / Capacity development / Awareness / Social inclusion / Gender equity / Stakeholders / Water governance / Energy sources / Monitoring / Strategies / Planning / Sustainable Development Goals / Agricultural productivity / Food security / Water policies / Water productivity / Water demand / Water availability / Surface water / Groundwater / Climate change / Irrigation systems / Conjunctive use / Water use / Water management / Water resources
Bogale, A. G.; Adem, A. A.; Mekuria, Wolde; Steenhuis, T. S. 2023. Application of geomorphometric characteristics to prioritize watersheds for soil and water conservation practices in the Lake Tana Basin, Ethiopia. Geocarto International, 38(1):2184502. [DOI]
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This study employed geomorphometric analysis to characterize the four major watersheds (Gilgel Abay, Gumara, Rib, and Megech) of Lake Tana sub-basin, Ethiopia, and prioritize the watersheds for the implementation of SWC practices using GIS and remote sensing techniques. Also, the study analyzed streamflow and sediment data recorded at the outlets of each watershed to associate the geomorphometric prioritization result with recordings of the watersheds. Geomorphometric analysis results indicated that the Rib watershed is the most susceptible watershed for soil erosion and should be prioritized for the implementation of SWC practices. The analysis of streamflow and suspended sediment concentration suggest that the Rib watershed had the second maximum sediment yield (14.3 t ha-1 yr-1) compared to the other three watersheds. This is because of the low streamflow response of the watershed compared with the Gumara watershed which had the highest sediment yield (18.9 t ha-1 yr-1).
Lakes / Resuspended sediments / Soil erosion / Remote sensing / Geographical information systems / Water conservation / Soil conservation / Watersheds
Mukuyu, Patience; Lautze, Jonathan; Rieu-Clarke, A.; Saruchera, D.; McCartney, Matthew. 2023. Do needs motivate the exchange of data in transboundary waters? Insights from Africa’s shared basins. Water International, 28p. (Online first) [DOI]
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Despite widespread recognition of the importance of data exchange in transboundary waters’ management, there is growing evidence that data exchange is falling short in practice. A possible explanation may be that data exchange occurs where and when it is needed. Needs for data exchange in shared waters, nonetheless, have not been systematically assessed. This paper evaluates data exchange needs in a set of transboundary basins and compares such needs with evidenced levels of data exchange. Our findings indicate that it may be possible to accelerate data exchange by identifying and promoting the exchange of data that respond to palpable need and serve practical use.
Environmental factors / Hydropower / Agriculture / Water supply / Urban areas / Water quality / Treaties / International agreements / Water management / Water resources / Assessment / Information exchange / Data / River basins / Transboundary waters
Tawfik, Mohamed Hassan; Al-Zawaidah, Hadeel; Hoogesteger, J.; Al-Zuapos;bi, Maha; Hellegers, Petra; Mateo-Sagasta, Javier; Elmahdi, A. 2023. Shifting waters: the challenges of transitioning from freshwater to treated wastewater irrigation in the northern Jordan Valley. Water, 15(7):1315. (Special issue: Water Contestations: Socio-Technical Entanglements, Politics and Social Mobilisation) [DOI]
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Jordan’s water scarcity prompted a national plan whereby treated wastewater is utilized to amend agricultural irrigation water so as to reallocate freshwater to urban/domestic uses. The policy, however, has engendered farmers’ resistance in the Northern Jordan Valley (NJV), causing a stalemate in putting new infrastructure into operation. This research investigated the socio-economic causes of farmer resistance and contestation, and examined the government’s institutional approach to overcome the challenges. We found that the perceived risks of wastewater reuse such as salinization and restrictions from international markets figure prominently in the farmers resistance. As yet, farmers have managed to avoid the shift to treated wastewater use by using the political agency of elite farmers who control the Water Users Associations. These same farmers have adopted informal water access practices to overcome freshwater shortages. At the same time, small producers who don’t have possibilities to access extra water and with less political clout seem more willing to irrigate with treated wastewater. We conclude that understanding the heterogeneous context in which the envisioned wastewater users operate is key to predicting and solving conflicts that arise in treated wastewater reuse projects.
Socioeconomic aspects / Farmers / Water user associations / Stakeholders / Water policies / Water scarcity / Urban areas / Water management / Infrastructure / Irrigation water / Freshwater / Water allocation / Water reuse / Wastewater irrigation
Saha, D.; Taron, Avinandan. 2023. Economic valuation of restoring and conserving ecosystem services of Indian Sundarbans. Environmental Development, 46:100846. [DOI]
Conservation of forest ecosystem is fundamental for economic-ecological sustainability. Indian Sundarbans provide several ecosystem services, which needs sustainable exploitation since forest dwellers are heavily dependent on the forest. In our study, we attempt to estimate the option value of the forest dwellers through a non-market based valuation technique. Using contingent valuation, we seek to estimate the contribution forest fringe dwellers are ready to provide for restoration and conservation of the ecosystem services. Assuming a random utility framework, mean willingness to pay is estimated from the forest dwellers’ responses to the Dichotomous Choice bidding as well as open-ended bidding question using socio-economic variables which determine the value towards forest ecosystem services. The results indicate that forest dwellers have a positive option value and hence are willing to forgo present extraction of forest resources for future use. This value the forest dwellers associate with non-use ecosystem services indicates their willingness to participate in forest conservation. The study therefore concludes that institutions like Joint Forest Management should be promoted for efficient management of the mangrove in providing livelihood and ecosystem services.
Mangroves / Participatory approaches / Communities / Socioeconomic aspects / Households / Livelihoods / Willingness to pay / Economic value / Contingent valuation / Environmental restoration / Forest conservation / Ecosystem services
Haile, Alemseged Tamiru; Geremew, Y.; Wassie, S.; Fekadu, A. G.; Taye, Meron Teferi. 2023. Filling streamflow data gaps through the construction of rating curves in the Lake Tana Sub-basin, Nile Basin. Journal of Water and Climate Change, 14(4):1162-1175. [DOI]
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In recent decades, streamflow data remain inaccessible for most river gauges in Ethiopia due to a lack of updated stage–discharge relationships, also called rating curves. In this study, researchers and hydrologic technicians collaborated to fill the recent streamflow data gaps at three gauging stations in the Lake Tana sub-basin of the Nile River. We conducted extensive field campaigns to improve the coverage of stage–discharge measurements for rating curve development. We evaluated the rating curve uncertainty during the time of its establishment and the sensitivity of the rating curves to sample size. The stage–discharge measurements conducted by the hydrological agency during the period 2016–2020 were found inadequate in number and coverage to establish reliable rating curves. Hence, converting recent water level measurements to discharge data was made possible using the rating curves developed in this study. The converted discharge data will be accessible to researchers to investigate the sub-basin’s hydrology. Our study emphasizes the need to improve the stage–discharge measurement frequency to keep up with the frequent change in the morphology of the rivers’ channels. The study demonstrated that collaboration between the data provider and data users can improve streamflow data availability and accessibility, which has become an increasing global challenge.
Collaboration / Hydrology / Catchment areas / Lakes / Rivers / Tributaries / Monitoring / Water levels / Discharges / Stream flow
Neik, T. X.; Siddique, K. H. M.; Mayes, S.; Edwards, D.; Batley, J.; Mabhaudhi, Tafadzwanashe; Song, B. K.; Massawe, F. 2023. Diversifying agrifood systems to ensure global food security following the Russia–Ukraine crisis. Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems, 7:1124640. [DOI]
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The recent Russia–Ukraine conflict has raised significant concerns about global food security, leaving many countries with restricted access to imported staple food crops, particularly wheat and sunflower oil, sending food prices soaring with other adverse consequences in the food supply chain. This detrimental effect is particularly prominent for low-income countries relying on grain imports, with record-high food prices and inflation affecting their livelihoods. This review discusses the role of Russia and Ukraine in the global food system and the impact of the Russia–Ukraine conflict on food security. It also highlights how diversifying four areas of agrifood systems—markets, production, crops, and technology can contribute to achieving food supply chain resilience for future food security and sustainability.
Conflicts / Technology / Exports / Markets / Food prices / Resilience / Food supply chains / Food production / Food crops / Sustainable intensification / Diversification / Agrifood systems / Food security
Cho, M. A.; Mutanga, O.; Mabhaudhi, Tafadzwanashe. 2023. Understanding local actors’ perspective of threats to the sustainable management of communal rangeland and the role of Participatory GIS (PGIS): the case of Vulindlela, South Africa. South African Geographical Journal, 19p. (Online first) [DOI]
Rangelands in arid and semi-arid regions serve as grazing land for domesticated animals and therefore offer livelihood opportunities for most pastoral communities. Thus, the exposure of most rangelands in arid and semi-arid regions to threats that are associated with natural, social, economic, and political processes affects their capacity to provide socioeconomic and environmental support to the immediate and global communities. In spite of the effects of rangeland transformations on both the natural and human environment, the assessment of threats affecting rangeland productivity has often been approached from a conventional scientific perspective. Most existing literature is focused on the assessment of threats to the biophysical environment. As such the social dimension of rangeland threats is not well understood. This research employed participatory rural appraisal (PRA) and PGIS techniques to assess rangeland threats and management actions from a local perspective. The result revealed that local actors prioritize threats to their social and economic needs over threats to the biophysical environment and their preference is informed by the frequency and magnitude of the threats. The outcome of the research demonstrates the need to promote rangeland governance through interdisciplinary and inclusive participation in research and development.
Assessment / Inclusion / Livelihoods / Communities / Pastoralists / Socioeconomic aspects / Ecological factors / Land productivity / Grazing lands / Techniques / Mapping / Land governance / Geographical information systems / Participatory rural appraisal / Local knowledge / Common lands / Rangelands / Sustainable land management
Buthelezi, S.; Mutanga, O.; Sibanda, M.; Odindi, J.; Clulow, A. D.; Chimonyo, V. G. P.; Mabhaudhi, Tafadzwanashe. 2023. Assessing the prospects of remote sensing maize leaf area index using UAV-derived multi-spectral data in smallholder farms across the growing season. Remote Sensing, 15(6):1597. (Special issue: Retrieving Leaf Area Index Using Remote Sensing) [DOI]
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Maize (Zea Mays) is one of the most valuable food crops in sub-Saharan Africa and is a critical component of local, national and regional economies. Whereas over 50% of maize production in the region is produced by smallholder farmers, spatially explicit information on smallholder farm maize production, which is necessary for optimizing productivity, remains scarce due to a lack of appropriate technologies. Maize leaf area index (LAI) is closely related to and influences its canopy physiological processes, which closely relate to its productivity. Hence, understanding maize LAI is critical in assessing maize crop productivity. Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) imagery in concert with vegetation indices (VIs) obtained at high spatial resolution provides appropriate technologies for determining maize LAI at a farm scale. Five DJI Matrice 300 UAV images were acquired during the maize growing season, and 57 vegetation indices (VIs) were generated from the derived images. Maize LAI samples were collected across the growing season, a Random Forest (RF) regression ensemble based on UAV spectral data and the collected maize LAI samples was used to estimate maize LAI. The results showed that the optimal stage for estimating maize LAI using UAV-derived VIs in concert with the RF ensemble was during the vegetative stage (V8–V10) with an RMSE of 0.15 and an R2 of 0.91 (RRMSE = 8%). The findings also showed that UAV-derived traditional, red edge-based and new VIs could reliably predict maize LAI across the growing season with an R2 of 0.89–0.93, an RMSE of 0.15–0.65 m2/m2 and an RRMSE of 8.13–19.61%. The blue, red edge and NIR sections of the electromagnetic spectrum were critical in predicting maize LAI. Furthermore, combining traditional, red edge-based and new VIs was useful in attaining high LAI estimation accuracies. These results are a step towards achieving robust, efficient and spatially explicit monitoring frameworks for sub-Saharan African smallholder farm productivity.
Crop yield / Agricultural productivity / Machine learning / Models / Forecasting / Monitoring / Growth stages / Smallholders / Small-scale farming / Multispectral imagery / Unmanned aerial vehicles / Remote sensing / Vegetation index / Leaf area index / Maize
Bhebhe, Q. N.; Ngidi, M. S. C.; Siwela, M.; Ojo, T. O.; Hlatshwayo, S. I.; Mabhaudhi, Tafadzwanashe. 2023. The contribution of trees and green spaces to household food security in eThekwini Metro, KwaZulu-Natal. Sustainability, 15(6):4855. [DOI]
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One of the most significant issues faced by many low- and middle-income nations, including South Africa, is ensuring access to healthy, affordable, and sustainable food. South Africa is renowned worldwide for its rich biodiversity and a vast body of traditional knowledge among those who consume forest foods. However, despite ecological diversity, frequent barriers remain to getting diversified household diets. This study sought to investigate the contribution of trees and green spaces to household food security in eThekwini. A total of 280 households met the inclusion criteria and consented to participate in this study by responding to questionnaires. The collected data were analysed using descriptive statistics, the computation of the Household Food Insecurity Access Scale (HFIAS), and the Instrumental Variable Poisson model. The study’s results revealed that only 29% of the respondents were food secure, 36% were mildly food insecure, 27% were moderately food insecure, and 8% were severely food insecure. The Instrumental Variable Poisson model results revealed that cultivated green spaces, wealth index, gender, education level of the head of households, and grants had a negative correlation with household food insecurity. On the other hand, non-cultivated green spaces, local trees, age, marital status, number of dependents, and monthly income positively correlated with food insecurity. Given the existence of trees and green spaces in eThekwini, there is potential for food security solutions to be formed around both cultivated and uncultivated green spaces to promote sustainable access to food and nutritious diets in low-income households. Policy interventions should adopt an approach that encourages the incorporation of foods from both cultivated and uncultivated trees and green spaces in people’s diets.
Socioeconomic aspects / Poverty / Income / Communities / Food access / Sustainability / Nutrition security / Food insecurity / Trees / Greenspace / Household food security
Nayak, H. S.; Parihar, C. M.; Aravindakshan, S.; Silva, J. V.; Krupnik, T. J.; McDonald, A. J.; Kakraliya, S. K.; Sena, Dipaka R.; Kumar, V.; Sherpa, S.; Bijarniya, D.; Singh, L. K.; Kumar, M.; Choudhary, K. M.; Kumar, S.; Kumar, Y.; Jat, H. S.; Sidhu, H. S.; Jat, M. L.; Sapkota, T. B. 2023. Pathways and determinants of sustainable energy use for rice farms in India. Energy, 272:126986. [DOI]
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Rice cultivation in the Western Indo-Gangetic plains of India is often blamed for higher energy use. Thus, a bootstrapped meta-frontier approach with a truncated regression approach was used on a database of 3832 rice farms from the input-intensive rice production tracts of western Indo-Gangetic Plains for sustainable energy-use assessment. Farms were classified based on efficiency scores to screen the inefficient practices and farms in Indo-Gangetic Plains. The district-specific technical-efficiency scores ranged between 0.68 and 0.99, with a mean of 0.86–0.90, suggesting average improvement in energy-use efficiency by 10–14% within the district. The mean meta-frontier technical-efficiency score ranged between 0.60 and 0.81. On average, the energy-use-efficient farms had 42% or higher energy-use efficiency in the districts of Ambala, Fatehgarh Sahib, and Karnal. In contrast, in other districts, the efficient farms had 5-19% higher energy-use efficiency. There is evidence of a higher number of tillage, irrigation, and fertilizer application among the inefficient farmers, specific to some districts. The efficient as well as inefficient farmers in Kapurthala and Ludhiana spend similar energy in tillage, whereas, the energy output from both efficient and inefficient farms are similar in Kurukshetra. Thus, there is a need of differential attention specific to district and practices. The evidence provided in this study can help to identify pathways toward sustainable energy use for future rice production in other ecologies too. Similar type of analysis can be carried out for other parameters like profitability and carbon footprint to explore where farmers are spending extra monetary and carbon inputs, and not getting additional yield benefits.
Farmers / Tillage / Irrigation / Agrochemicals / Fertilizers / Data envelopment analysis / Policies / Agricultural production / Farms / Rice / Use efficiency / Sustainable use / Energy consumption
Velpuri, Naga Manohar; Mateo-Sagasta, Javier; Orabi, Mohamed O. M. 2023. Spatially Explicit Wastewater Generation and Tracking (SEWAGE-TRACK) in the Middle East and North Africa Region. Science of the Total Environment, 875:162421. [DOI]
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This study developed the SEWAGE-TRACK model for disaggregating lumped national wastewater generation estimates using population datasets and quantifying rural and urban wastewater generation and fate. The model allocates wastewater into riparian, coastal, and inland components and summarizes the fate of wastewater into productive (direct and indirect reuse) and unproductive components for 19 countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. As per the national estimates, 18.4 km3 of municipal wastewater generated in 2015, was disaggregated over the MENA region. Results from this study revealed urban and rural areas to contribute to 79 % and 21 % of municipal wastewater generation respectively. Within the rural context, inland areas generated 61 % of the total wastewater. The riparian and coastal regions produced 27 % and 12 %, respectively. Within the urban settings, riparian areas produced 48 %, while inland and coastal regions generated 34 % and 18 % of the total wastewater, respectively. Results indicate that 46 % of the wastewater is productively used (direct reuse and indirect use), while 54 % is lost unproductively. Of the total wastewater generated, the most direct use was observed in the coastal areas (7 %), the most indirect reuse in the riparian regions (31 %), and the most unproductive losses in inland areas (27 %). The potential of unproductive wastewater as a non-conventional freshwater source was also analyzed. Our results indicate that wastewater is an excellent alternative water source and has high potential to reduce pressure on non-renewable sources for some countries in the MENA region. The motivation of this study is to disaggregate wastewater generation and track wastewater fate using a simple but robust approach that is portable, scalable and repeatable. Similar analysis can be done for other regions to produce information on disaggregated wastewater and its fate. Such information is highly critical for efficient wastewater resource management.
Coastal areas / Groundwater recharge / Water availability / Water reuse / Models / Estimation / Water productivity / Datasets / Population / Rural areas / Municipal wastewater / Wastewater treatment
Chunga, B. A.; Marx, W.; Cai, Xueliang; de Clercq, W.; Watson, A.; Malota, M. 2023. Water allocation using system dynamic modelling in the aquaculture integrated with small-scale irrigation systems in Malawi. Physics and Chemistry of the Earth, 129:103355. [DOI]
The agricultural sector is faced with numerous challenges including climate change and water scarcity in many developing countries. In order to address scarcity and improve water use efficiency for rural farmers, fish farming is being integrated with small-scale irrigation. However, there are challenges in how to allocate water between the two farming enterprises. This study explored the capabilities of system dynamics to allocate water between a fish pond and a crop field in Chingale, Malawi using a system dynamic software, Vensim PLE. For soil water and pond water, a simple water balance structure was built and connected to the crop growth structure. Simulations run for 125 days corresponding to the maize growth period. Model results are similar to the actual yield (about 3.5 ton/ha for hybrid) and biomass production (about 7 ton/ha) in the area. Results also show it was possible to maintain pond water depth at recommended depths for raising fish: fish stocking (1 m), operation of the pond (1.5–2.0 m) and harvesting of the fish (less than 1.2 m) throughout the maize growing period. While the study did not comprehensively build and simulate fish growth, the use of such simple tools would benefit rural farmers with few resources. Based on the promising capabilities and the results of the tool it is recommended that further comprehensive analysis to fully incorporate all key sub-components affecting crop and fish growth be carried out.
Climate change / Farmers / Rural areas / Rainfall / Water resources / Crop yield / Biomass production / Water-use efficiency / Water depth / Soil water balance / Crop production / Maize / Fish ponds / Decision support systems / Small-scale irrigation / Aquaculture / Modelling / Water allocation
Steinbach, S.; Hentschel, E.; Hentze, K.; Rienow, A.; Umulisa, V.; Zwart, Sander J.; Nelson, A. 2023. Automatization and evaluation of a remote sensing-based indicator for wetland health assessment in East Africa on national and local scales. Ecological Informatics, 75:102032. [DOI]
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To avoid wetland degradation and promote sustainable wetlands use, decision-makers and managing institutions need quantified and spatially explicit information on wetland ecosystem condition for policy development and wetland management. Remote sensing holds a significant potential for wetland mapping, inventorying, and monitoring. The Wetland Use Intensity (WUI) indicator, which is not specific to a particular crop and which requires little ancillary data, is based on the Mean Absolute Spectral Dynamics (MASD), which is a cumulative measure of reflectance change across a time series of optical satellite images. It is sensitive to the compound effects of land cover changes caused by different agricultural practices, flooding or burning. The more frequent and intrusive management practices are on the land cover, the stronger the WUI signal. WUI thus serves as a surrogate indicator to measure pressure on wetland ecosystems. We developed a new and automated approach for WUI calculation that is implemented in the Google Earth Engine (GEE) cloud computing environment. Its automatic calculation, use of regular Sentinel-2 derived time series, and automatic cloud and cloud shadow masking renders WUI applicable for wetland management and produces high quality results with minimal user requirements, even under cloudy conditions. For the first time, we quantitatively tested the capacity of WUI to contribute to wetland health assessment in Rwanda on the national and local scale. On the national scale, we analyzed the discriminative power of WUI between different wetland management categories. On the local scale, we evaluated the possible contribution of WUI to a wetland ecosystem health scoring system. The results suggest that the adapted WUI indicator is informative, does not overlap with existing indicators, and is applicable for wetland management. The possibility to measure use intensity reliably and consistently over time with satellite data is useful to stakeholders in wetland management and wetland health monitoring, and can complement established field-based wetland health assessment frameworks.
Satellite imagery / Gomorphology / Vegetation / Water quality / Surface water / Land use / Datasets / Earth observation satellites / Indicators / Remote sensing / Assessment / Environmental health / Ecosystems / Wetlands
Smith, D. Mark; Gordon, C.; Kittikhoun, A.; Molwantwa, J.; Mollinedo, P. P.; Romdhane, A. B.; Shrestha, R.; Tindimugay, C.; McDonnell, Rachael. 2023. Research and innovation missions to transform future water systems. Nature Water, 1(3):219-222. [DOI]
The United Nation 2023 Water Conference offers a critical opportunity to catalyse actions and innovations that bring increased water security to vulnerable communities across the globe. Researchers have an important role in supporting the delivery of needed on-the-ground impact, but their work must be informed by the priorities and necessities of Global South implementors.
Youth / Technology / Strategies / Climate change / Sustainable Development Goals / Water demand / Multi-stakeholder processes / Water governance / Policies / Innovation / Research / Water systems / Transformation / Water security
Fantaye, S. M.; Wolde, B. B.; Haile, Alemseged Tamiru; Taye, Meron Teferi. 2023. Estimation of shallow groundwater abstraction for irrigation and its impact on groundwater availability in the Lake Tana Sub-basin, Ethiopia. Journal of Hydrology: Regional Studies, 46:101365. [DOI]
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Study region: Lake Tana sub-basin of the Upper Blue Nile River Basin, Ethiopia. Study focus: Groundwater use for small-scale irrigation is increasing in the Lake Tana sub-basin. However, the abstraction amount and its impact are not well understood. In this study, a new methodological approach was utilized to estimate the irrigation water abstraction amount, which is based on groundwater level monitoring before, during, and at the end of the irrigation season (2021/2022). The monitoring was conducted on 361 hand-dug wells distributed throughout the sub-basin, which is subdivided into East, Southwest, and North zones. New hydrological insights for the region: Groundwater abstraction for irrigation and associated groundwater level decline estimates are 10.6 × 106 m3 and 2.43 m in the East, 4.2 × 106 m3 and 3.23 m in the Southwest, and 0.6 × 106 m3 and 1.32 m in the North. These abstractions account for 103%, 97%, and 62% of the mean annual groundwater recharge in the East, Southwest, and North zones, respectively. Groundwater is overexploited in the East and Southwest zones although, at the sub-basin scale, the amount of groundwater used for irrigation is small compared to the renewable groundwater resource. However, if groundwater-based irrigation continues to expand especially in the East and Southwest zones, groundwater scarcity at the local scales will worsen. Adaptive management strategies are required to minimize the potential adverse effects on groundwater resources.
Dry season / Wells / Lakes / Sediment / Aquifers / Irrigated land / Water supply / Surface water / Water use / Small-scale irrigation / Water levels / Monitoring / Groundwater table / Groundwater recharge / Water availability / Shallow water / Groundwater irrigation / Groundwater extraction
Wubaye, G. B.; Gashaw, T.; Worqlul, A. W.; Dile, Y. T.; Taye, Meron Teferi; Haileslassie, Amare; Zaitchik, B.; Birhan, D. A.; Adgo, E.; Mohammed, J. A.; Lebeza, T. M.; Bantider, A.; Seid, Abdulkarim; Srinivasan, R. 2023. Trends in rainfall and temperature extremes in Ethiopia: station and agro-ecological zone levels of analysis. Atmosphere, 14(3):483. (Special issue: Water Management and Crop Production in the Face of Climate Change) [DOI]
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Climate extreme events have been observed more frequently since the 1970s throughout Ethiopia, which adversely affects the socio-economic development of the country, as its economy depends on agriculture, which, in turn, relies heavily on annual and seasonal rainfall. Climate extremes studies conducted in Ethiopia are mainly limited to a specific location or watershed, making it difficult to have insights at the national level. The present study thus aims to examine the observed climate extreme events in Ethiopia at both station and agro-ecological zone (AEZ) levels. Daily rainfall and temperature data for 47 and 37 stations, respectively (1986 up to 2020), were obtained from the National Meteorology Agency (NMA). The Modified Mann–Kendall (MMK) trend test and the Theil–Sen slope estimator were employed to estimate the trends in rainfall and temperature extremes. This study examines trends of 13 temperature and 10 rainfall extreme indices using RClimDex in R software. The results revealed that most of the extreme rainfall indices showed a positive trend in the majority of the climate stations. For example, an increase in consecutive dry days (CDD), very heavy rainfall days (R20), number of heavy rainfall days (R10) and consecutive wet days (CWD) were exhibited in most climate stations. In relation to AEZs, the greater number of extreme rainfall indices illustrated an upward trend in cool and sub-humid, cool and humid, and cool and moist AEZs, a declining trend in hot arid AEZ, and equal proportions of increasing and decreasing trends in warm semi-arid AEZs. Concerning extreme temperature indices, the result indicated an increasing trend of warm temperature extreme indices and a downward trend of cold temperature extreme indices in most of the climate stations, indicating the overall warming and dryness trends in the country. With reference to AEZs, an overall warming was exhibited in all AEZs, except in the hot arid AEZ. The observed trends in the rainfall and temperature extremes will have tremendous direct and indirect impacts on agriculture, water resources, health, and other sectors in the country. Therefore, the findings suggest the need for identifying and developing climate change adaptation strategies to minimize the ill effects of these extreme climate events on the social, economic, and developmental sectors.
Time series analysis / Spatial distribution / Precipitation / Climate change adaptation / Agroecological zones / Meteorological stations / Trends / Temperature / Rainfall / Extreme weather events
Birhanu, B. Z.; Sanogo, K.; Traore, S. S.; Minh, Thai; Kizito, F. 2023. Solar-based irrigation systems as a game changer to improve agricultural practices in Sub-Sahara Africa: a case study from Mali. Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems, 7:1085335. [DOI]
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Introduction: In rainfed agricultural systems, sustainable and efficient water management practices are key to improved agricultural productivity and natural resource management. The agricultural system in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) relies heavily on the availability of rainfall. With the erratic and unreliable rainfall pattern associated with poor and fragile soils, agricultural productivity has remained very low over the years. Much of the SSA agricultural land has been degraded with low fertility as a result of ongoing cultivation and wind and water erosion. This has resulted in an increased food shortage due to the ever-increasing population and land degradation. Better agricultural and nutritional security are further hampered by the lack of reliable access to the available water resources in the subsurface hydrological system. Methods: This study used socio-economic data from 112 farm households and Boolean and Fuzzy methods to understand farmersapos; perceptions and identify suitable areas to implement Solar Based Irrigation Systems (SBISs) in the agro-ecologies of Bougouni and Koutiala districts of southern Mali. Results and discussion: Results revealed that the usage of SBISs has been recent (4.5 years), majorly (77%) constructed by donor-funded projects mainly for domestic water use and livestock (88%). With regards to irrigation, vegetable production was the dominant water use (60%) enabling rural farm households to gain over 40% of extra household income during the dry season. Results further showed that 4,274 km2 (22%) of the total land area for the Bougouni district, and 1,722 km2 (18%) of the Koutiala district are suitable for solar-based irrigation. The affordability of solar panels in many places makes SBISs to be an emerging climate-smart technology for most rural Malian populations.
Case studies / Socioeconomic aspects / Households / Rural areas / Rainfall / Solar energy / Groundwater / Water use / Water management / Sustainable intensification / Soil types / Slope / Land cover / Land use / Land suitability / Farmers / Smallholders / Technology / Climate-smart agriculture / Agricultural practices / Solar powered irrigation systems
Gokool, S.; Mahomed, M.; Kunz, R.; Clulow, A.; Sibanda, M.; Naiken, V.; Chetty, K.; Mabhaudhi, Tafadzwanashe. 2023. Crop monitoring in smallholder farms using unmanned aerial vehicles to facilitate precision agriculture practices: a scoping review and bibliometric analysis. Sustainability, 15(4):3557. (Special issue: Advanced Technologies, Techniques and Process for the Sustainable Precision Agriculture) [DOI]
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In this study, we conducted a scoping review and bibliometric analysis to evaluate the state-of-the-art regarding actual applications of unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) technologies to guide precision agriculture (PA) practices within smallholder farms. UAVs have emerged as one of the most promising tools to monitor crops and guide PA practices to improve agricultural productivity and promote the sustainable and optimal use of critical resources. However, there is a need to understand how and for what purposes these technologies are being applied within smallholder farms. Using Biblioshiny and VOSviewer, 23 peer-reviewed articles from Scopus and Web of Science were analyzed to acquire a greater perspective on this emerging topical research focus area. The results of these investigations revealed that UAVs have largely been used for monitoring crop growth and development, guiding fertilizer management, and crop mapping but also have the potential to facilitate other PA practices. Several factors may moderate the potential of these technologies. However, due to continuous technological advancements and reductions in ownership and operational costs, there remains much cause for optimism regarding future applications of UAVs and associated technologies to inform policy, planning, and operational decision-making.
Technology / Remote sensing / Machine learning / Food security / Bibliometric analysis / Unmanned aerial vehicles / Farming systems / Smallholders / Crop monitoring / Precision agriculture
Patra, S.; Parihar, C. M.; Mahala, D. M.; Singh, D.; Nayak, H. S.; Patra, K.; Reddy, K. S.; Pradhan, S.; Sena, Dipaka Ranjan. 2023. Influence of long-term tillage and diversified cropping systems on hydro-physical properties in a sandy loam soil of North-western India. Soil and Tillage Research, 229:105655. [DOI]
A study was conducted to determine the combined effects of three tillage practices and four maize (Zea mays L.)- based cropping systems on physical, saturated, and near-saturated hydraulic properties in a sandy loam soil of North-Western India. Split-plot experimental design was adopted with tillage [conventional tillage (CT), zero tillage (ZT), and permanent raised bed (PB)] as the main plot treatments and intensified crop rotations [Maize (Zea mays L.)-Wheat (Triticum aestivum)-Greengram (Vigna radiata L.) (MWGg), Maize-Chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.)-Sesbania (Sesbania aculeata) (MCpSb), Maize-Mustard (Brassica juncea) -Greengram (MMuGg) and MaizeMaize-Sesbania (MMSb)] as subplot treatments. The saturated and near-saturated soil hydraulic conductivity were derived from steady-state infiltration rates measured using a hood infiltrometer on the surface soil at 0, - 1, and - 3 cm pressure heads. The long-term (10 years) study revealed that the bulk density (BD) of the soil under conservation agriculture (CA) practices (PB and ZT) was significantly (P = 0.05) lower than that in CT practices. The soil BD in the MCpSb cropping system was measured to be the lowest (1.24 g cm- 3 ) among all the cropping systems. The soil aggregate mean weight diameter (MWD) under PB and ZT was determined to be 31% and 27% higher than in the CT treatments. In tillage × cropping systems interactions, the highest MWD was observed in the PB×MWGg. The saturated and near-saturated hydraulic conductivity (K(h)) were estimated to have higher values in CA practices (PB and ZT) than in the CT treatments. In the case of cropping systems, the soil’s mean field saturated hydraulic conductivity was estimated to be significantly (P lt; 0.05) higher under the MWGg, MCpSb, and MMuGg than the MMSb. The present study indicates that conservation agriculture-based crop management with diversified maize-based rotation (MCpSb, MWGg, and MMuGg) could be promising alternatives to conventional tillage practices (CT). Among the cropping system choices, MWGg was more effective in improving the soil’s hydro-physical properties in the study area.
Sesbania / Mustard / Chickpeas / Mung beans / Wheat / Maize / Conservation agriculture / Soil organic carbon / Soil aggregates / Sandy loam soils / Soil physical properties / Hydraulic conductivity / Tillage / Diversification / Cropping systems
Tsvuura, S.; Mudhara, M.; Mabhaudhi, Tafadzwanashe. 2023. An analysis of the perceived societal benefits of and threats from trees for the delivery of livelihoods and community development. Plants, People, Planet, 5(3):424-436. [DOI]
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Societal Impact Statement: Understanding the perceptions of benefits and threats from trees is important for the livelihoods of communities. The study used focus group discussions, key informant interviews, and a questionnaire survey of 226 households in the province of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. The findings showed that household socio-economic factors such as gender and land tenure influenced perceptions of tree growing, and households that were involved in a tree restoration project viewed trees as contributing toward their livelihoods by reducing hunger. Hence there is a need to design strategies that promote socio-economic inclusivity of all households and genders and promote programs that increase awareness of ecosystem services within communities. Summary: Understanding the socio-economic factors that shape the way households value and utilize natural resources is critical in developing nature-based solutions. The study was aimed at understanding how the socio-economic circumstances of households determined their perceptions of the role of trees in livelihood delivery. A case study of Buffelsdraai and Osindisweni communities was used; these sites are adjacent to a municipal landfill where a tree restoration project intended to mitigate the effects of climate change is being implemented, and some of the households are involved in this project. The study used focus group discussions, key informant interviews, and a questionnaire survey of 226 households. It explored gender perspectives on the perceived benefits and threats of tree restoration. It analyzed the influence of householdsapos; economic characteristics and spatial configuration (the subdivisions of the landscape) to assess the impact of land tenure. The findings showed that gender influenced the perceptions that economic benefits can be derived from participating in the project. Households involved in the tree restoration project viewed trees as contributing to their livelihoods by reducing hunger. Households in peri-urban settlements, permanently resident in the area, showed greater reliance on natural resources than those in informal settlements and rural areas. Such differences can be attributed to differences in land tenure. Hence, there is a need to design strategies and operations that promote socio-economic inclusivity of all households and genders and reduce inequality. These findings are important for informing scaling to yield better climate change considerations and policies.
Poverty / Landfills / Land tenure / Climate change / Sustainable Development Goals / Nature conservation / Natural resources / Women / Gender / Socioeconomic aspects / Livelihoods / Community development / Restoration / Trees
Gebrechorkos, S. H.; Taye, Meron Teferi; Birhanu, B.; Solomon, D.; Demissie, T. 2023. Future changes in climate and hydroclimate extremes in East Africa. Earthapos;s Future, 11(2):e2022EF003011. [DOI]
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Climate change is affecting the agriculture, water, and energy sectors in East Africa and the impact is projected to increase in the future. To allow adaptation and mitigation of the impacts, we assessed the changes in climate and their impacts on hydrology and hydrological extremes in East Africa. We used outputs from seven CMIP-6 Global Climate Models (GCMs) and 1981–2010 is used as a reference period. The output from GCMs are statistically downscaled using the Bias Correction-Constructed Analogs with Quantile mapping reordering method to drive a high-resolution hydrological model. The Variable Infiltration Capacity and vector-based routing models are used to simulate runoff and streamflow across 68,300 river reaches in East Africa. The results show an increase in annual precipitation (up to 35%) in Ethiopia, Uganda, and Kenya and a decrease (up to 4.5%) in Southern Tanzania in the 2050s (2041–2070) and 2080s (2071–2100). During the long rainy season (March–May), precipitation is projected to be higher (up to 43%) than the reference period in Southern Ethiopia, Kenya, and Uganda but lower (up to -20%) in Tanzania. Large parts of Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, and Southern Ethiopia show an increase in precipitation (up to 38%) during the short rainy season (October–December). Temperature and evapotranspiration will continue to increase in the future. Further, annual and seasonal streamflow and hydrological extremes (droughts and floods) are projected to increase in large parts of the region throughout the 21st century calling for site-specific adaptation.
Hydrological modelling / Impact assessment / Climate models / Stream flow / Rivers / Floods / Drought / Temperature / Precipitation / Forecasting / Extreme weather events / Hydroclimate / Climate change adaptation
Shrestha, Gitta; Pakhtigian, E. L.; Jeuland, M. 2023. Women who do not migrate: intersectionality, social relations, and participation in western Nepal. World Development, 161:106109. [DOI]
Migration impacts left-behind populations, disrupting established norms of social interaction, participation, and inclusion. In western Nepal, labour migration is common among young men, with implications for household and community participation among those left behind, who are predominately women. In this study, we use mixed methods to examine how labour migration impacts the social inclusion of migrant households, especially, of left-behind women in community groups and activities. For our analysis, we use quantitative survey data from over 3600 households in the Karnali and Mahakali River Basins of western Nepal and qualitative data from 16 focus group discussions and 37 in-depth interviews held in the same region. Our analysis reveals substantial heterogeneity in the experiences of women and households left behind by migrants. Women’s opportunities to participate in economic systems such as natural resource user committees and non-governmental organisation trainings are moderated by intersecting identities including gender, caste/ethnicity, kinship, age, and economic status. Young women from nuclear, low caste, and poor households with limited social ties suffer from disadvantaged positions and face restricted access to spaces of participation. Accordingly, left-behind women’s opportunities to benefit from community resources remain dependent on their caste and kinship networks. These findings contribute to ongoing debates on the impacts of migration, and can help inform improved targeting of interventions to advance gender equity in rural Nepal.
Households / Labour / Collective action / s participation / Womenapos / Intersectionality / Social aspects / Natural resources management / Gender / Migration
van Koppen, Barbara. 2023. Restoring the commons: a gendered analysis of customary water tenure in Sub-Saharan Africa. International Journal of the Commons, 17(1):1-11. [DOI]
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Customary water tenure in low-and middle-income rural areas has received limited academic, policy, and legal attention as yet. This paper seeks to conceptualize and analyse gender-differentiated living customary water tenure, focusing on sub-Saharan Africa. Extensive literature review suggests four gendered domains: first, water needs and uses; second, strategies to meet those needs by directly accessing water sources, and, with increasing wealth by investing individually or collectively in water infrastructure for self-supply, creating infrastructure-related ‘commons’ in the case of collective systems; third, at community scale, the ‘sharing in’ of communities’ naturally available water resources that flow into infrastructure; and, fourth, ‘sharing out’ of those resources with neighbouring communities but also powerful third parties of foreign and national high impact users. Rendering the gendered community more visible as the main agent to manage its water resources as the commons provides evidence for a range of policies, laws and interventions, including gender equitable and community-led water infrastructure development integrating domestic and productive spheres; strengthening customary arrangements to share water resources as a commons within a community or with neighbouring communities, and the long overdue formal protection of customary water tenure against ‘water grabs’ by powerful third parties.
Commons / Water sharing / Infrastructure / Water resources / Legal pluralism / Men / Women / Gender analysis / Customary tenure / Water tenure
Geleta, Y.; Simane, B.; Assefa, E.; Haileslassie, Amare. 2023. Impacts of small-scale irrigation water use on environmental flow of ungauged rivers in Africa. Environmental Systems Research, 12:3. [DOI]
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Failure in Environmental flow in quantity, timing, and quality leads to failure to support ecosystems, human livelihoods, and well-being. Irrigation water use is one of the main actors in impacting the water flow of rivers in quantity and time but was not well investigated in many ungauged catchments under smallholder irrigation systems. This study examined the impact of irrigation water use on environmental flow in Arataapos;s small ungauged catchment. The study estimated the flow in sub-catchment using the area ratio method, the crop irrigation water requirement using F.A.O. cropwat 8.0, and the water balance in the Water Evaluation and Planning System tool and the environmental flow in Tennants, Q95, asnd local area thumb rule. The result showed that the minimum environmental flow of the Arata catchment is 290, 310, and 60 li/sec in the Tennant, Q95, and the local thumb rule. Irrigation consumes only 9% of the water resources of the catchment while 91% is contributed to downstream lake Ziway via Ketar river. January and February have unmet water demand and zero environmental flow. In December Tennantapos;s 10% and Q95 recommended environmental flow had 19% and 24% deficit while the thumb rule environmental flow is 291% more than the minimum requirement. The rest of the months are by far more than the minimum environmental flow requirement. Given the result, meeting the environmental flow of the system throughout the year needs the installation of a water storage facility from upstream to downstream, the introduction of different water-saving irrigation technologies, farmersapos; capacity building in irrigation water management, and a standardized environmental flow estimation mechanism.
Livestock / Water requirements / Crops / Water balance / Water demand / Catchment areas / Rivers / Environmental flows / Water use / Small-scale irrigation
Lynch, A. J.; Cooke, S. J.; Arthington, A. H.; Baigun, C.; Bossenbroek, L.; Dickens, Chris; Harrison, I.; Kimirei, I.; Langhans, S. D.; Murchie, K. J.; Olden, J. D.; Ormerod, S. J.; Owuor, M.; Raghavan, R.; Samways, M. J.; Schinegger, R.; Sharma, S.; Tachamo-Shah, R.-D.; Tickner, D.; Tweddle, D.; Young, N.; Jahnig, S. C. 2023. People need freshwater biodiversity. WIREs Water, 10(3):e1633. [DOI]
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Freshwater biodiversity, from fish to frogs and microbes to macrophytes, provides a vast array of services to people. Mounting concerns focus on the accelerating pace of biodiversity loss and declining ecological function within freshwater ecosystems that continue to threaten these natural benefits. Here, we catalog nine fundamental ecosystem services that the biotic components of indigenous freshwater biodiversity provide to people, organized into three categories: material (food; health and genetic resources; material goods), nonmaterial (culture; education and science; recreation), and regulating (catchment integrity; climate regulation; water purification and nutrient cycling). If freshwater biodiversity is protected, conserved, and restored in an integrated manner, as well as more broadly appreciated by humanity, it will continue to contribute to human well-being and our sustainable future via this wide range of services and associated nature-based solutions to our sustainable future.
Catchment areas / Nutrient cycles / Water purification / Recreation / Cultural factors / Climate change / Genetic resources / Education / Health / Fisheries / Nature-based solutions / Ecosystem services / Biodiversity conservation / Freshwater ecosystems
Dlamini, N.; Senzanje, A.; Mabhaudhi, Tafadzwanashe. 2023. Assessing climate change impacts on surface water availability using the WEAP model: a case study of the Buffalo River Catchment, South Africa. Journal of Hydrology: Regional Studies, 46:101330. [DOI]
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Study region: The Buffalo River (BR) catchment, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Study focus: Due to the vast majority of the BR catchment’s water demands not being fully satisfied in recent years, studies investigating potential climate change impacts on the catchment’s water supply availability are needed. The study’s objective was to therefore assess climate change-induced surface water availability (SWA) variations in the BR catchment from 2020 to 2100. To achieve this, the hydrologic Water Evaluation and Planning model was forced with the catchment’s physical and hydrological data, and projected climate data from an ensemble of GCMs under RCP4.5 and RCP8.5 scenarios from CMIP5. New hydrological insights for the region: The study findings projected increased precipitation, especially in the far future (2070–2100) whereby mean annual precipitation increased by 5 % to 8286 Mm3 /annum under the worst-case climate change scenario (RCP8.5). With evapotranspiration and water abstractions averaging 4500 Mm3 /annum and 115 Mm3 /annum, respectively, surface runoff and SWA increased by 8 % and 10 %, yielding averages of 3265 Mm3 /annum and 287 Mm3 /annum, respectively. Even with the increased SWA, unmet demands also increased by 113 % towards the end of the 21st century. As the study established that climate change might exacerbate the BR catchment’s water supply system’s insufficiency to meet growing demands, such findings present an opportunity for the integrated Water-Energy-Food nexus approach to be further utilised for formulating sustainable water management strategies.
Models / Case studies / Forecasting / Precipitation / Stream flow / Runoff / Water extraction / Nexus approaches / Food production / Energy / Water supply / Water demand / Catchment areas / Rivers / Sustainability / Water balance / Hydrological modelling / Water availability / Surface water / Climate change
Foudi , S.; McCartney, Matthew; Markandya, A.; Pascual, U. 2023. The impact of multipurpose dams on the values of nature’s contributions to people under a water-energy-food nexus framing. Ecological Economics, 206:107758. [DOI]
The paper proposes a probabilistic approach to the assessment of the impacts of multipurpose dams. It is framed around the notion of Nature’s Contributions to People (NCP) in the setting of the Water-Energy-Food nexus. The socio-ecological context of the Tana River Basin in Kenya and the construction of two multipurpose dams are used to highlight co-produced positive and negative NCP under alternative river regimes. These regimes produce both damaging floods that ought to be controlled and beneficial floods that ought to be allowed. But the river regime that results from hydropower generation and flood risk reduction may not be the one that is most conducive to food and feed-based NCP. The approach relates the economic value of river-based NCP coproduction to the probability of flooding to derive the expected annual value of NCP and a NCP value-probability curve. The relation between NCP flows and flood characteristics is tested and estimated based on regression analyses with historical data. Results indicate that the net economic value of key NCP associated with multipurpose dams for local people and associated social equity effects largely depend on the frequency of flood events and on the way impacts are distributed across communities, economic sectors and time.
Communities / Ecological factors / Social aspects / Hydroelectric power generation / Hydrology / Floods / Economic value / River basins / Equity / Ecosystem services / Natural environment / Nexus approaches / Food systems / Energy / Water resources / Reservoirs / Dams
Samarasekara, Vidhisha. 2023. How water finally became a climate change priority. Scientific American, 4p.
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Resilience / Policies / Conferences / Climate change / Water security
Chimonyo, V. G. P.; Govender, L.; Nyathi, M.; Scheelbeek, P. F. D.; Choruma, D. J.; Mustafa, M.; Massawe, F.; Slotow, R.; Modi, A. T.; Mabhaudhi, Tafadzwanashe. 2023. Can cereal-legume intercrop systems contribute to household nutrition in semi-arid environments: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Frontiers in Nutrition, 10:1060246. [DOI]
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Introduction: Intercropping cereals with legumes can intensify rainfed cereal monocropping for improved household food and nutritional security. However, there is scant literature confirming the associated nutritional benefits. Methodology: A systematic review and meta-analysis of nutritional water productivity (NWP) and nutrient contribution (NC) of selected cereal-legume intercrop systems was conducted through literature searches in Scopus, Web of Science and ScienceDirect databases. After the assessment, only nine articles written in English that were field experiments comprising grain cereal and legume intercrop systems were retained. Using the R statistical software (version 3.6.0), paired t-tests were used to determine if differences existed between the intercrop system and the corresponding cereal monocrop for yield (Y), water productivity (WP), NC, and NWP. Results: The intercropped cereal or legume yield was 10 to 35% lower than that for the corresponding monocrop system. In most instances, intercropping cereals with legumes improved NY, NWP, and NC due to their added nutrients. Substantial improvements were observed for calcium (Ca), where NY, NWP, and NC improved by 658, 82, and 256%, respectively. Discussion: Results showed that cereal-legume intercrop systems could improve nutrient yield in water-limited environments. Promoting cereal legume intercrops that feature nutrient-dense legume component crops could contribute toward addressing the SDGs of Zero Hunger (SDG 3), Good Health and Well-3 (SDG 2) and Responsible consumption and production (SDG 12).
Goal 12 Responsible production and consumption / Goal 3 Good health and well-being / Goal 2 Zero hunger / Sustainable Development Goals / Nutrition / Water productivity / Water use efficiency / Multiple cropping / Legumes / Cereal crops / Intercropping
Suhardiman, Diana; Phayouphorn, A.-M.; Gueguen, A.; Rigg, J. 2023. Silent transitions: commercialization and changing customary land tenure systems in upland Laos. Land Use Policy, 126:106541. [DOI]
What happens to local institutional arrangements regarding access and use of communal land under the forces of agricultural commercialization? Taking Khwaykham village in Phongsaly province, Laos as a case study, this paper sheds light on this question as farm households in the settlement have progressively transitioned to commercial farming, specifically tea cultivation. Traditionally, farm households’ access and rights to use the land were embedded in their swidden agriculture practices. The adoption of tea has increasingly fixed land use rights, making land sticky at the household rather than communal level. How, why and with what effects this occurs are the focus of the paper. We argue that while this transition to tea cultivation has benefited – in income terms – most farm households in the village, it has also created an agrarian context for increased inequity between those households who rapidly took the opportunity from the tea boom and others who have missed out on it.
Case studies / Villages / Strategies / Households / Institutions / Agrarian reform / Farmers / Equity / Land use / Shifting cultivation / Tea industry / Land rights / Land access / Commercialization / Customary tenure / Land tenure systems
Degefa, H.; Tolera, M.; Kim, D.-G.; Mekuria, Wolde. 2023. Effects of exclosures on woody species composition and carbon stocks: lessons drawn from the Central Rift Valley, Ethiopia. Land Degradation and Development, 34(7):2073-2087. [DOI]
Effects of exclosures on restoring degraded lands may vary with soil type, exclosure age, and conditions before the establishment of exclosures. Yet, studies investigating the effectiveness of exclosures in restoring degraded lands under different environmental conditions are lacking. This study aims at investigating the changes in woody species richness and diversity, and ecosystem carbon stocks after implementing exclosures in the Central Rift Valley, Ethiopia. Vegetation and soil data were gathered from 120 nested plots established in exclosures of eight and 30-years-old and adjacent grazing lands. Results showed that exclosures contained a higher number of economically important woody species compared to their respective adjacent grazing lands. However, the exclosures and respective adjacent grazing lands did not differ significantly in the diversity of tree and shrub species, and both the exclosures and adjacent grazing lands were dominated by few tree and shrub species. The older exclosure (30 years old) displayed significantly (p lt; 0.01) higher soil organic carbon and soil total nitrogen content and stocks than the adjacent grazing land, whereas the youngest exclosure (8 years old) did not show a significant difference in these variables. The results suggest that a longer time (e.g., =10 years) is needed to detect significant differences in soil organic carbon and total soil nitrogen. However, exclosures could bring considerable changes in woody species density in a relatively shorter period (e.g., =10 years) and support to restore degraded native woody species.
Biomass / Watersheds / Total nitrogen / Vegetation / Ecosystems / Woody plants / Soil organic carbon / Grazing lands / Degraded forest land / Carbon stock assessments / Exclosures
Dessalegn, Mengistu; Debevec, L.; Nicol, Alan; Ludi, E. 2023. A critical examination of rural out-migration studies in Ethiopia: considering impacts on agriculture in the sending communities. Land, 12(1):176. (Special issue: The Impact of Rural Out-Migration on Land Use Transition) [DOI]
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Labor migration is a complex phenomenon, yet while much attention has been paid to understanding the drivers of migration, there is a huge knowledge and policy gap regarding the effects of migration on people and communities left behind. We sought to explore the impacts of rural outmigration on migrant-sending communities in Ethiopia. This remains an understudied topic when it comes to research on migration in Ethiopia. Our investigation is based on a critical review of the migration literature pertaining to Ethiopia and, more broadly. We pursued a holistic analysis of the multidimensional aspects of migration. There are indications that rural outmigration impacts involve issues related to remittances, household food security, agricultural labor use, farmland management, and rural infrastructure development. Our analysis revealed that there had been few systematic studies and limited analyses regarding the impacts of outmigration on agriculture and the livelihoods of rural people and households left behind. Instead, Ethiopia’s migration literature largely deals with migration’s causes, including environmental factors, climate variability, agricultural pressures, livelihood stresses, and changing aspirations.
Investment / Remittances / Women / Social networks / Climate variability / Environmental factors / Livelihoods / Land management / Farmland / Household food security / Communities / Agriculture / Labour / Rural areas / Migration
Wang, L.; Zhang, F.; Nepal, Santosh; Xiang, Y.; Tang, H.; Shi, X.; Zeng, C.; Ahmad, I.; Yu, Z. 2023. Response of runoff processes to temperature rise in basins with different glacier ratios in the monsoon-influenced southern Tibetan Plateau. Journal of Hydrology: Regional Studies, 45:101299. [DOI]
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Study region: River basins with glacier ratios ranging from 1.8% to 20.7% in the monsoon-influenced southern Tibetan Plateau. Study focus: The response of runoff processes in basins with different glacier ratios under global warming of 1.5 C and 2 C was explored based on SPHY (Spatial Processes in Hydrology) model and GCMs (General Circulation Models). New hydrological insights for the region: More prominent temperature and precipitation changes were observed in the monsoon-influenced southern Tibetan Plateau compared with the global averages. With increasing temperature and precipitation, the total runoff and glacier runoff of these basins showed increasing trends under global warming of 1.5 C and 2 C. Compared with the baseline period (1985–2014), increases were observed in the total runoff (1.7–20.6%), base flow (2.8–8.3%), glacier runoff (8.1–35.9%), and rainfall runoff (6.0–36.0%) of these basins. In contrast, snowmelt runoff decreased (- 28.3% - - 4.3%). Therefore, relevant management and allocation of water resources may be required. The hydrological regulation function of glaciers was found to be strongly correlated with glacier ratio. In general, the hydrological regulation function of glaciers would decrease in the future along with warming induced glacier retreat. These findings would help deepen the understanding of runoff processes on the Tibetan Plateau and other alpine regions, thus providing a scientific basis for water resources management under climate change.
Forecasting / Monsoons / Glaciers / Temperature / Runoff / River basins
Girma, G.; Melka, Y.; Haileslassie, Amare; Mekuria, Wolde. 2023. Participatory forest management for improving livelihood assets and mitigating forest degradation: lesson drawn from the Central Rift Valley, Ethiopia. Current Research in Environmental Sustainability, 5:100205. [DOI]
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The study was conducted in Heban Arsi district, Central Rift Valley, Ethiopia to investigate the contribution of participatory forest management (PFM) to improving household’s livelihood assets and mitigating forest degradation. Data were gathered using household surveys, observation, key informant interviews and focus group discussions. During the entire study, 231 households (131 from PFM; 100 form non-PFM households), 35 key informants (25 from PFM; 10 from non-PFM) and 10 focus groups (6 from PFM; 4 from non-PFM) were involved. The livelihood assets framework was used to organize and analyze the quantitative data. The qualitative data was analyzed using topic coding and building categories, themes, and patterns of relationships. The introduction of PFM significantly (P lt; 0.05) improved the overall natural (index value of 0.72 and 0.58 for PFM and non-PFM, respectively), financial (0.73 and 0.61), physical (0.49 and 0.37), human (0.62 and 0.57) and social (0.77 and 0.59) livelihood asset values of local communities and contributed to the mitigation of forest degradation. On average, households involved in PFM displayed a 61.6%, 45.7%, 30.8% and 24.2% improvements in natural, financial, physical, and social assets, respectively. Households engaged in PFM showed a 37.4% improvement on the overall livelihood assets value, suggesting that PFM households displayed better livelihood assets compared to non-PFM households. However, the overall contribution of PFM to the livelihood assets showed skewed structure, suggesting that the improvements deviate from sustainability. The existing institutional structure including bylaws contributed a lot to strengthen PFM. Yet, it is crucial to strengthening the protection of forestlands through improving rule enforcement and commitments of both formal and informal institutions in managing forest resources. Also, sustaining the extraction of wood and non-wood forest products and the benefits from as well as integration of other interventions in PFM areas such as the provision of improved cook stoves and solar PV could help reduce forest degradation, improve the sense of ownership among local communities and sustain PFM activities. Further, expanding capacity building trainings and improving access to market could play a great role to sustainably manage forest resources through increasing the participation of local communities in decision making processes.
Local communities / Households / Institutions / Climate change adaptation / Environmental degradation / Forest degradation / Sustainable livelihoods / Participatory approaches / Sustainable forest management
Mapedza, Everisto; Huyer, S.; Chanana, N.; Rose, A.; Jacobs-Mata, Inga; Mudege, N. N.; Tui, S. H.-K.; Gbegbelegbe, S.; Nsengiyumva, G.; Mutenje, Munyaradzi; Nohayi, Ngowenani. 2023. Framework for incorporating Gender Equality and Social Inclusion (GESI) elements in Climate Information Services (CIS). Sustainability, 15(1):190. (Special issue: Gender and Socially-Inclusive Approaches to Technology for Climate Action) [DOI]
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We advance a gender equality and social inclusion (GESI) framework for incorporating climate information services (CIS), which is now becoming central due to the ongoing climate change and climate variability. We understand gender as a social construct of who women and men are supposed to be. Gender inequalities seem to be enduring such that, despite innovations in agricultural and climate information technologies, unequal gender power dynamics will still emerge. As far back as the 1960s, the gendered inequalities in accessing technologies could be identified. Such a historical analysis clearly shows that the different technological solutions are clearly embedded within the society in which they evolve in. The paper uses a literature review methodological approach whilst informing the implementation of an ongoing Accelerating Impacts of CGIAR Climate Research for Africa (AICCRA) Project. The findings reveal that unless women are intentionally included in designing and developing agricultural technologies, specifically climate information systems, there is a danger that women will be excluded from the benefits. Conway’s law clearly stipulates that technological innovations are not neutral as they are a projection of the values of their creators. It is, therefore, central to grasp the values of creators of different technological solutions and innovations. The key findings are built around the espoused conceptual framework, which has five indicators, namely: (1) gender targeting by intentional design, (2) collection of sex-disaggregated data, (3) conduct an analysis of the sex-disaggregated data, (4) dissemination of the technological options and (5) conduct continuous monitoring of gender and ongoing empowerment evaluation. The five indicator domains are further complemented by their respective assumptions. Our GESI recommendations are on the five selected indicator domains. These domains must be used within the three focal development areas: agricultural data hub, climate information services training, and flood and drought indicators, which are all being implemented in Zambia. Other AICCRA Project countries are Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Mali, and Senegal. This paper engages why CIS has not gained significant traction in Africa, as it has not genuinely incorporated the differential gender technological nuances.
Empowerment / Women / Climate variability / Climate change / Technology / Access to information / Climate services / Frameworks / Social inclusion / Gender equality
Patle, P.; Singh, P. K.; Ahmad, I.; Matsuno, Y.; Leh, Mansoor; Ghosh, Surajit. 2023. Spatio-temporal estimation of green and blue water consumptions and water and land productivity using satellite remote sensing datasets and WA+ framework: a case study of the Mahi Basin, India. Agricultural Water Management, 277:108097. [DOI]
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The agricultural activities contribute to the largest share of water consumption in the arid and semi-arid basins. In this study, we demonstrate the application of Water Accounting Plus (WA+) for estimation of the green water consumption (ETGreen) and blue water consumption (ETBlue) for assessing the water productivity (WP) and land productivity (LP) to identify the bright-spots and hot-spots at the district administrative unit level for effectively managing the scarce water resources and sustaining food security in a highly non-resilient semi-arid basin of India. The WA+ framework uses satellite remote sensing datasets from different sources for this purpose and we used the data from 2003 to 2020. The long-term average of ETGreen and ETBlue in the Mahi basin is found to be 15.8 km3 /year and 12.32 km3 /year, respectively. The blue water index (BWI) and green water index (GWI) in the basin vary from 0.282 to 0.598 and 0.40–0.72. We found that the BWI is highest for the districts of Gujarat, whereas, the GWI is highest for the districts of Madhya Pradesh. The long-term average of the LP and WP for both the irrigated and rainfed cereals in the basin is found as 2287.71 kg/ha amp; 1713.62 kg/ha and 0.721 kg/ m3 amp; 0.483 kg/m3 , respectively from 2003 to 2020. The WP (rainfed) of all the districts of the Gujarat is comparatively lower (varying from 0.34 kg/m3 to 0.5 kg/m3 ) than the districts of the Madhya Pradesh (varying from 0.59 kg/m3 to 0.70 kg/m3 ) and the Rajasthan (varying from 0.48 kg/m3 to 0.73 kg/m3 ). Based on the results, we found that the Ratlam district of the Madhya Pradesh has both highest LP and WP (irrigated) as 2573.96 kg/ha and 2.14 kg/m3 , respectively among all the districts of the Mahi basin, and hence it is classified as the ‘Bright spot-district’. The Anand district is found to have the lowest WP and LP as 0.44 kg/m3 and 2467.51 kg/ha, respectively and hence it is classified as the ‘hot spot-district’. For rainfed cereals, we found that the Neemuch district of Madhya Pradesh has the highest WP and LP as 0.59 kg/m3 and 1948.13 kg /ha, respectively, and the Anand district with the lowest WP as 0.34 kg/m3 and LP of 1572.21 kg/ha, respectively. Therefore, we classified the Neemach district as the ‘Bright spot-district’ and the Anand district as the hot spot- district for rainfed cereals. These findings will help develop sustainable and actionable agricultural water management plans by the policymakers and stakeholders in the basin.
Case studies / Semiarid zones / Evapotranspiration / Estimation / Frameworks / Datasets / Remote sensing / Satellite observation / Water productivity / Land productivity / Water use
Suhardiman, Diana; Raut, Manita; Pradhan, P.; Meinzen-Dick, R. 2023. Irrigation systems management in Nepal: women’s strategies in response to migration-induced challenges. Water Alternatives, 16(1):244-264.
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Large-scale male outmigration has placed new pressures on both men and women, especially regarding labour division in farm households and involvement in Water Users Associations (WUAs). This paper illustrates how the interplay between existing gender norms, male migration, remittances, and alternative sources of male labour influence women’s agency and WUA decision-making processes in Nepal. Despite official quotas aimed at promoting women’s participation in WUAs, some women prefer to monetise membership contributions rather than actively engage with the organisation. Others pursue strategic interests through changing WUA rules and, in the process, bringing about an adjustment of cultural norms. Women’s agency is derived not only from their knowledge of irrigation systems features and their ability to manage them; it is also related to their ability to learn new organisational skills and to apply them in the WUA context to negotiate and mobilise rules and resources. Women (re)shape their WUA involvement in conjunction with their farming strategies, their view of the WUA’s functionality, and whether they perceive the involvement as either an opportunity for productive engagement or as merely an increase in their already heavy workload.
Maintenance / Canals / Institutions / Water user associations / Migration / Strategies / s participation / Womenapos / Gender / Irrigation management / Irrigation systems
Asfaw, Wegayehu; Rientjes, T.; Haile, Alemseged Tamiru. 2023. Blending high-resolution satellite rainfall estimates over urban catchment using Bayesian Model Averaging approach. Journal of Hydrology: Regional Studies, 45:101287. [DOI]
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Study region: Akaki is a headwater catchment of Awash River Basin that hosts the capital city of Ethiopia, Addis Ababa. The area encompasses several agglomerated towns, water supply, and hydropower reservoirs and is characterized by a chain of mountains and floodplains. Due to basin rainfall, and the expansion of urbanized areas, the catchment is frequently affected by flooding. Study focus: This study evaluates dynamic Bayesian Model Averaging (BMA) approach to improve rainfall estimation over the catchment by blending four high-resolution satellite rainfall estimate (SRE) products. Using daily data (2003–2019) observed at thirteen stations as a reference, seven statistical metrics served to assess the point and spatial scale accuracy of the rainfall estimates. New hydrological insights: Main findings from this study are: (i) the blended product outperformed the individual SRE products by notably improving correlation with in-situ observed rainfall, and reducing the error of the estimated rainfall, (ii) the blended and individual SRE products performed better in the highlands than the lowlands of the catchment, and (iii) the amount of daily rainfall during the main-rainy season was mostly overestimated by the individual SRE products but was fairly estimated by the blended product. This study showed the nonexistence of surpassing individual SRE products and emphasized the blending of several products for gaining optimal results from each product.
Precipitation / River basins / Models / Bayesian theory / Satellite observation / Urban areas / Catchment areas / Estimation / Rain
Balasubramanya, S.; Buisson, Marie-Charlotte; Mitra, Archisman; Stifel, D. 2023. Price, credit or ambiguity? Increasing small-scale irrigation in Ethiopia. World Development, 163:106149. [DOI]
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Governments in countries in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) are keen to expand irrigation to improve food security and are placing particular emphasis on adoption and use of smallholder private groundwater irrigation. Yet private irrigation is a multi-stage technology, the adoption of which is affected by fiscal support and extension services offered on different investment stages but also by uncertainties around actions that need to be undertaken in these stages. Groundwater-based irrigation in Ethiopia presents a case where policy has focused on fiscally easing the purchase of pumps while considerable ambiguity (unquantifiable uncertainty) exists around the outcomes of drilling boreholes (reaching water). In this paper, we examine farmers’ willingness to adopt smallholder private irrigation packages in response to lower pump prices following tax breaks, loan availability, and reduction in ambiguities related to borehole drilling, using a discrete choice experiment (DCE) in two districts of Ethiopia. The results indicate that the provision of loans and reduction in ambiguities related to well drilling have the greatest effect on the probability of farmers adopting irrigation packages. Lowering pump prices has the smallest effect. Pump-type has a small effect, with energized pumps preferred over manual ones. In exploring heterogeneity in preferences, we find that farmers without irrigated plots and those with greater market access have a greater preference for the provision of loans, while those with greater market access also have greater preferences for reductions in well drilling ambiguities. The results of this choice experiment suggest that reducing ambiguities around well drilling (initial investments) is an essential and cost-effective step toward expanding groundwater-based irrigation in Ethiopia.
Loans / Taxes / Water drilling / Boreholes / Credit / Prices / Pumps / Groundwater irrigation / Farmer-led irrigation / Smallholders / Small-scale irrigation
Ali, A. A.; Bouchaou, L.; Er-Raki, S.; Hssaissoune, M.; Brouziyne, Youssef; Ezzahar, J.; Khabba, S.; Chakir, A.; Labbaci, A.; Chehbouni, A. 2023. Assessment of crop evapotranspiration and deep percolation in a commercial irrigated citrus orchard under semi-arid climate: combined Eddy-Covariance measurement and soil water balance-based approach. Agricultural Water Management, 275:107997. [DOI]
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An accurate estimate of crop coefficient (Kc) values at different development stages (Kcini, Kcmid, and Kcend) is crucial for assessing crop water requirements in semi-arid regions. The objectives of this study were first to quantify the reference evapotranspiration (ETo) and to calculate the actual evapotranspiration (ETa) over citrus in a semi-arid climate under drip irrigation. For this purpose, a site of a citrus orchard in Souss-Massa, planted with the Esbal variety of clementine, was equipped with an Eddy-Covariance (EC) system, and sensors to measure radiation, soil heat flux, and micrometeorological forcing data, during 2020 and 2021 seasons. Also, the soil moisture content at various soil depths in the root zone near the EC tower was monitored. The energy balance closure (EBC) approach was adopted for flux assessment to ensure a quality check for the EC measurements. The obtained EBCs were about 82% and 79% for the daily measurements in 2020 and 2021, respectively, which can be considered acceptable considering the nature of the citrus orchard (relatively tall and sparse). Second, the study aimed to estimate actual Kc act values for citrus under the same irrigation strategy. The derived values were compared to different recommended Kc values in the literature. In the third stage, this work aimed to offer an alternative plan to sustainable irrigation management by elaborating an irrigation schedule for citrus crops in the region using the FAO-56 simple approach to avoid water stress and deep percolation (i.e., Ks = 1 and DP = 0). Eventually, an irrigation schedule was drawn following the crop’s phenological stages. The seasonal mean citrus evapotranspiration (ETa) values are 1.68, 3.02, and 1.86 mm/day for the initial, mid, and end-season. The seasonal actual Kc act values were 0.64, 0.58, and 0.64 for Kcini, Kcmid, and Kcend, respectively. Additionally, the application of the water balance equation revealed that a large quantity of water is lost through deep percolation (52% of total water supplied). The study focuses on Citrus trees being a strategic crop with important socio-economic values in the Souss-Massa region. Thus, the results should support both scientists and farmers in planning and strategy development.
Eddy covariance / Mediterranean climate / Crop water use / Rain / Water stress / Water supply / Irrigation scheduling / Irrigation management / Water management / Agriculture / Energy balance / Soil water balance / Commercial farming / Semiarid climate / Deep percolation / Evapotranspiration / Citrus / Irrigated farming
Ghosh, Surajit; Mukherjee, J. 2023. Earth observation data to strengthen flood resilience: a recent experience from the Irrawaddy River. Natural Hazards, 115(3):2749-2754. [DOI]
The improvement of Earth Observation (EO) sensors and modern computational efficiency in the form of cloud analytics platform has made monitoring and interpretation of floods much more efficient. In this study, we present the recently occurred floods in the north-central section of the Irrawaddy River, inundating the adjoining farmlands on the active floodplains along a stretch of 228 km. The amount of rainfall was observed to have gradually risen from early June 2022 captured through GPM data. Similarly, the water levels in the study stretch were observed to have increased from 98.08 m to 104.08 m (from Sentinel-3 altimetry) due to torrential rains on the northern hilly tracts of Myanmar. High-resolution Sentinel-1 SAR datasets have been used to estimate flood progression in the GEE platform. The total inundated area had risen from 196 to 989 sq. km. throughout June till the first week of July. Thus, EO data associated with accessible computing on cloud platforms help monitor flood progression, warn the community well in advance and support the development of crop insurance strategies, anticipatory actions and many more to strengthen evidence-based flood policy.
Rain / Rivers / Resilience / Floods / Earth observation satellites
Mitra, Archisman; Balasubramanya, Soumya; Brouwer, R. 2023. Can cash incentives modify groundwater pumping behaviors? Evidence from an experiment in Punjab. American Journal of Agricultural Economics, 105(3):861-887. [DOI]
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As groundwater levels steadily decline in India, authorities are concerned about reducing extraction for irrigation purposes without jeopardizing food security. Very low or zero prices for electricity and water in agriculture is partly responsible for overextraction, but charging higher prices is politically not feasible. In this study, we describe the results of a pilot scheme implemented in Punjab, India, where farmers who enrolled were allocated a monthly entitlement of electricity units and compensated for unused electricity. Eight hours of uninterrupted daytime electricity supply were also provided under the scheme instead of the usual mix of daytime and night-time supply. Analyzing data from a cross-sectional farm household survey and instrumenting for enrollment, we find that self-reported hours of irrigation for enrolled farmers were significantly lower than for non-enrolled ones, with no impact on rice yields. We also find a reduction in monthly electricity consumption at electricity-feeder level due to the pilot scheme using the synthetic control method. Our results suggest that the combination of daytime electricity provision and cash incentives for unused electricity has the potential to incentivize farmers to reduce electricity consumption and irrigation hours by at least 7.5% and up to 30% without impacting paddy yields.
Pilot projects / Monsoons / Rice / Groundwater extraction / Farmers / Pricing / Nexus approaches / Irrigation / Energy consumption / Electricity supplies / Agriculture / Incentives / Pumping / Groundwater level
Kenney-Lazar, M.; Suhardiman, Diana; Hunt, G. 2023. The spatial politics of land policy reform in Myanmar and Laos. Journal of Peasant Studies, 50(4):1529-1548. [DOI]
Land policy reform has dominated the development agenda across the Global South over the past two decades. In contrast with earlier distributive land reforms, contemporary policies reflect an amalgamation of neoliberal, state territorial, and social justice agendas. This paper demonstrates how land policy changes reflect the spatially extensive and multi-scalar politics of land contestation and control, employing the cases of Myanmar and Laos. Myanmar’s short-lived democratic transition enabled civil society actors to exert uneven influence on policy reform. In contrast, communist party and state dominance in Laos has constrained, although not wholly obstructed, policy intervention by non-governmental groups.
Social aspects / Farmers / Civil society / Donors / Non-governmental organizations / Government / Customary land rights / Land use / Land tenure / Land titling / Political parties / Land law / Land reform / Land policies
Adimassu, Zenebe; Tamene, L. 2023. Benefits of selected land management practices on ecosystem services: case studies in four watersheds of Ethiopia. International Journal of Environmental Science and Technology, 20(2):1919-1936. [DOI]
Investments in land management practices, such as stone and soil bunds, are a key strategy to recover degraded lands in Ethiopia. However, the benefits of these practices in relation to ecosystem services are not properly assessed and documented. Therefore, the objective of this study was to assess the benefits of land management practices in relation to provisioning, supporting and regulating ecosystem services. The study was conducted in four watersheds with selected indicators of provisioning, supporting and regulating ecosystem service. Generally, the results show that provisioning services (e.g. yield of crops), regulating services (e.g. organic matter accumulation) and supporting services (e.g. soil nutrient content) were improved with age of stone and soil bunds except in Jawe-gumbura watershed. Accordingly, in Alekit-wonz watershed, the grain yield of barley recorded from 4-year-old stone bunds was higher than the yield recorded from 2-year old soil bund. Similarly, in Borodo watershed, the grain yield of wheat from 5-year-old soil bunds was higher than the yield obtained from the control treatment. The results also showed that highest regulating and supporting ecosystem services were recorded in the accumulation zones in all watersheds compared with erosion zone. Similarly, the highest provisioning services were recorded at the accumulation zone in all watersheds. This shows that land management practices are effective to improve supporting, regulating and provisioning ecosystem services. Hence, more investments in land management are needed to enhance ecosystem services from degraded lands of Ethiopia.
Case studies / Soil properties / Nutrients / Crop yield / Water conservation / Soil conservation / Agroecological zones / Watersheds / Ecosystem services / Land management