Holmatov, Bunyod; Lautze, Jonathan; Uhlenbrook, Stefan. 2023. The nexus across water, energy and food (WEF): learning from research, building on evidence, strengthening practice. Natural Resources Forum, 47(4):817-841. (Special issue: Sustainable Water and Energy Solutions) [DOI]
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While water-energy-food (WEF) Nexus is one of the most important, and widely investigated, environmental topics of our time, previous stock taking efforts possess notable limitations, namely (i) their focus is restricted to research articles, and (ii) there is less focus on nexus permutations that begin with energy and food. This paper assembled more than 900 documents and systematically categorized them according to more than 10 key parameters (e.g. scale, methods, limitations), to characterize approaches, achieved outcomes and presence of variables likely to support on-the-ground change. Our results reveal that WEF Nexus activities are often driven by the water sector, undertaken at global and national scale and authored by experts from diverse backgrounds. Among the utilized methods, modelling and review (i.e. systematic) are the most common. While climate change and governance are routinely considered in WEF Nexus documents, gender, stakeholders and capacity are not. These findings highlight areas for improvement in the design of WEF Nexus initiatives.
Gender / Stakeholders / Governance / Frameworks / Nexus approaches / Food Security / Energy / Water Security
Cheema, Abdur Rehman; Rafique, N.; Abbas, F. 2023. Migration governance in Pakistan: institutional challenges and data gaps. International Migration Review, 13p. (Online first) [DOI]
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Recent estimations indicate that Pakistan is currently host to approximately 3.28 million migrants, comprising roughly 1.5 percent of the nation’s total population. While Pakistan possesses an extensive national registration database, the National Database and Registration Authority, encompassing both citizens and individuals of Pakistani origin, it is noteworthy that the country lacks a comprehensive migration-sensitive infrastructure. Consequently, there exists a pressing need for in-depth analytical approaches to elucidate the complexities of migration governance and data management within the Pakistani context. Despite the undeniable significance of migration in driving macroeconomic and socioeconomic development within Pakistan, this sector remains notably marginalized in terms of policy prioritization. At present, Pakistan lacks a dedicated migration policy, a centralized coordinating body responsible for managing migration-related data, and a cohesive framework for analytical or advisory efforts regarding the collection and validation of migration data across diverse stakeholders. Consequently, Pakistan’s approach to migration governance is characterized by fragmentation, with numerous government entities engaged in the handling and reporting of migration data and service provision. In light of these circumstances, this country report serves as a diagnostic tool, shedding light on salient governance, and data-related challenges. Its overarching objective is to advocate for the elevation of migration governance to a prominent position on Pakistan’s policy agenda, thereby addressing the pressing issues outlined herein.
Policies / Emigration / Governance / Migration
Gwal, S.; Gupta, S.; Sena, Dipaka Ranjan; Singh, S. 2023. Geospatial modeling of hydrological ecosystem services in an ungauged upper Yamuna Catchment using SWAT. Ecological Informatics, 78:102335. (Online first) [DOI]
Hydrological ecosystem services (HES) are vital for resource allocation, conservation prioritization, and climate change adaptation. However, research gaps persist due to limited understanding of complex hydrological systems and inadequate ground-station data, especially in ungauged watersheds with complex terrains. The present study addresses these gaps by estimating and mapping HES descriptors using regionalization techniques in an ungauged Aglar watershed. Additionally, it conducts a temporal analysis of hydrological fluxes using Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT). Aglar is a constituent sub-watershed of a gauged watershed named Bausan having two discharge observation stations located at Naugaon and Bausan sites in Uttarakhand, India. A nested parameterization approach was adopted to represent the hydrological variabilities over the Bausan watershed with one outlet at Aglar. The stream flow derived from the calibrated Bausan watershed was used as synthetic observations in SWAT model setup for Aglar and found to yield very good statistical results. Calibration yielded coefficient of determination (R2 ) = 0.91, Nash Sutcliff Efficiency (NSE) = 0.91, and standardized root mean square error (RSR) = 0.29, while the validation yielded R2 = 0.68, NSE = 0.50, and RSR = 0.37. Parameters related to base flow or stream flow were the most sensitive in the model’s output. Water balance analysis reveals 36% of precipitation transformed into stream flow, with direct runoff accounting for 72% and base flow for 28%. Forest cover contributed approximately 50.68% of precipitation through evapotranspiration. The study identifies a maximum sediment load of approximately 26 t/ha, indicating fragility of the landscape. Non-parametric tests such as Mann Kendall and Sen’s slope indicated increasing trends in surface runoff, lateral flow, water yield, and groundwater recharge. The analysis of the empirical cumulative distribution function demonstrated that all hydrological components exhibit trends similar to precipitation. Spatially and temporally, variations in HES provisioning were observed, with forests surpassing non-forest areas. These findings emphasize the value of HES descriptors in analyzing spatiotemporal changes in HES provisioning and offer valuable insights for policymakers for future policy dialogues. This study lays the groundwork for further investigations into the hydrological processes of ungauged watersheds.
Sensitivity analysis / Watersheds / Hydrological modelling / Ecosystem services
Rana, B.; Parihar, C. M.; Jat, M. L.; Patra, K.; Nayak, H. S.; Reddy, K. S.; Sarkar, A.; Anand, A.; Naguib, W.; Gupta, N.; Sena, Dipaka R.; Sidhu, H. S.; Singh, R.; Singh, R.; Abdallah, A. M. 2023. Combining sub-surface fertigation with conservation agriculture in intensively irrigated rice under rice-wheat system can be an option for sustainably improving water and nitrogen use-efficiency. Field Crops Research, 302:109074. [DOI]
Context: The rice-wheat cropping system in the Indo-Gangetic plains (IGP) of South Asia has been shown to have higher productivity. However, this benefit is offset by the unsustainable over-drafting of groundwater resources. Given the growing scarcity of water, it is imperative to investigate alternative crop establishment and irrigation methods that do not rely on the conventional puddled transplanting method (PTR).; Objective: This study aims to assess the impact of combining conservation agriculture-CA with sub-surface drip irrigation-SSD referred to as CA+, at different nitrogen (N) doses on physiological performance, crop yield, irrigation and nitrogen use-efficiency, as well as farm profitability of rice in the north-western IGP of India.; Method: A two-year field experiment was conducted to assess the effects of medium-term CA and the combination of CA with SSD (CA+) at three levels of N (0%, 75%, and 100% of the recommended dose), in comparison to PTR using recommended dose of nitrogen-RDN (120 kg N ha-1). Indicators of crop growth (under CA, CA+), i.e., biomass, grain yield, water-use, water-use efficiency (WUE), nitrogen-use efficiency (NUE), and economic analysis of rice production were evaluated and compared with PTR.; Result: The results revealed that the PTR plots produced 15% and 11% higher grain yield than CA and CA+ systems, respectively, even at 100%RDN, due to a significantly higher number of fertile tillers. However, the application of 100%RDN and irrigation through SSD resulted in a significant increase in nitrogen uptake (4.5%) and remobilization (7.5%) into the grain compared to PTR. The CA+ plots demonstrated a reduction in irrigation water usage by 1.5 and 2 times compared to the CA and PTR systems, leading to a respective increase in WUE by 1.6% and 1.8%. PTR exhibited highest net returns, while the CA+ treatment– SSD-N100 achieved the highest benefit-cost ratio.; Conclusion: The combination of CA with SSD at 100%RDN offers significant benefits, including notable water saving, improved WUE, NUE and crop yield. This integrated approach presents a promising solution to address the pressing issues of food security and sustainability arising from water scarcity and groundwater depletion in South Asia.; Future implication: There is a need to increase awareness among farmers about the benefits of CA coupled with SSD i.e., CA+ , for water-intensive rice-based systems. Additionally, further research should focus on identifying ideal rice cultivars suitable for CA+ systems and determining the optimal specifications for drip lines and emitter discharge rates for diverse water-scarce agro-ecological conditions.
Irrigated rice / Conservation agriculture / Fertigation / Crop yield / Nitrogen-use efficiency / Water-use efficiency / Drip irrigation / Subsurface irrigation
Negera, M.; Alemu, T.; Hagos, Fitsum; Haileslassie, Amare. 2023. Impacts of climate-smart agricultural practices on farm households’ climate resilience and vulnerability in Bale-Eco Region, Ethiopia. Environment, Development and Sustainability, 30p. (Online first) [DOI]
Climate change remains a significant threat to farm households, especially in developing countries. It exacerbates their vulnerability to food insecurity by reducing agricultural productivity and raising agricultural production costs. Adoption of climate smart-agricultural (CSA) practices is a promising alternative to build resilient farm households. In this study, we assessed the impacts of adopting CSA practices on climate resilience and vulnerability among farm households in Bale-Eco Region, Ethiopia. A power calculation was used to determine the sample size, and 404 farm households were randomly selected to collect data using structured questionnaire. We estimated household climate resilience index using categorical principal component analysis, and vulnerability index using vulnerability as expected poverty approach. Endogenous switching regression model, which is conditional on the adoption of multiple CSA practices and used to control selection bias and unobserved heterogeneity, was used to assess the impacts of CSA practices on household climate resilience and vulnerability. We employed counterfactual approaches to assess the impacts. The results show that the average treatment effects for most CSA practices are statistically significant and positive for resilience, but negative for vulnerability. This provides empirical support for interventions in climate-smart agriculture, which can help farm households build resilience and reduce vulnerability. We, therefore, suggest that agricultural policies should encourage the adoption of CSA practices and provide incentive packages to farm households that promote this.
Vulnerability / Climate resilience / Households / Agricultural practices / Climate-smart agriculture
Geleta, Y.; Haileslassie, Amare; Simane, B.; Assefa, E.; Bantider, A. 2023. Mapping community perception, synergy, and trade-off of multiple water values in the Central Rift Valley Water System of Ethiopia. Water, 15(16):2986. [DOI]
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Individuals and communities use and value water in multiple and complex ways. In Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), the pluralistic nature of water values is poorly documented, and the existing and potential value trade-offs are unidentified. This study was undertaken in the Central Rift Valley (CRV) of Ethiopia to understand and map water values, priorities, risks, and trade-offs in a multi-stakeholder engagement process to provide the basis for more transparent and accountable decision-making. Integrated assessment methods, combining bio-physical and social methods, were applied. The results show 24 community-perceived and articulated water values that are diverse but interconnected, including values of water, landscapes, the river system, and downstream water bodies. Connections between people and landscape structures are articulated. In terms of priority water values, the overall results reflect the primary but basic need for water for food security and domestic uses. The results further illustrate the pluralistic nature of water values and the dichotomy of preferences among people of different backgrounds. The scenario-based Environmental Flow (EF) assessment exercise integrated into community value preferences and the event calendar that was used show that the river systems in CRV (Ketar, Kulumsa, and Gusha-Temela) have different ecological and socio-cultural flow requirements and that there are marked water value trade-offs. The conclusions of the study suggest that overlapping governance structures are affecting people’s perceptions of water and the way they articulate water values. Policy directions and decision-making need to recognize and acknowledge the multiple water values and competing uses of water in the CRV as a starting point to reconcile trade-offs that will then improve water security. Findings suggest that EF estimation and decision support tools can be customized to local ecological requirements through engaging local stakeholders in the assessment process.
Sociocultural environment / Environmental flows / Assessment / Communities / Rivers / Water demand / Water governance
Devenish, A. J. M.; Schmitter, Petra; Jellason, N. P.; Esmail, N.; Abdi, N. M.; Adanu, S. K.; Adolph, B.; Al-Zu’bi, Maha; Amali, A. A.; Barron, J.; Chapman, A. S. A.; Chausson, A. M.; Chibesa, M.; Davies, J.; Dugan, E.; Edwards, G. I.; Egeru, A.; Gebrehiwot, T.; Griffiths, G. H.; Haile, A.; Hunga, H. G.; Igbine, L.; Jarju, O. M.; Keya, F.; Khalifa, M.; Ledoux, W. A.; Lejissa, L. T.; Loupa, P.; Lwanga, J.; Mapedza, Everisto D.; Marchant, R.; McLoud, T.; Mukuyu, Patience; Musah, L. M.; Mwanza, M.; Mwitwa, J.; Neina, D.; Newbold, T.; Njogo, S.; Robinson, E. J. Z.; Singini, W.; Umar, B. B.; Wesonga, F.; Willcock, S.; Yang, J.; Tobias, J. A. 2023. One hundred priority questions for the development of sustainable food systems in Sub-Saharan Africa. Land, 12(10):1879. (Special issue: Social and Environmental Trade-Offs in African Agriculture: Achieving Sustainable Development Goals) [DOI]
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Sub-Saharan Africa is facing an expected doubling of human population and tripling of food demand over the next quarter century, posing a range of severe environmental, political, and socio-economic challenges. In some cases, key Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are in direct conflict, raising difficult policy and funding decisions, particularly in relation to trade-offs between food production, social inequality, and ecosystem health. In this study, we used a horizon-scanning approach to identify 100 practical or research-focused questions that, if answered, would have the greatest positive impact on addressing these trade-offs and ensuring future productivity and resilience of food-production systems across sub-Saharan Africa. Through direct canvassing of opinions, we obtained 1339 questions from 331 experts based in 55 countries. We then used online voting and participatory workshops to produce a final list of 100 questions divided into 12 thematic sections spanning topics from gender inequality to technological adoption and climate change. Using data on the background of respondents, we show that perspectives and priorities can vary, but they are largely consistent across different professional and geographical contexts. We hope these questions provide a template for establishing new research directions and prioritising funding decisions in sub-Saharan Africa.
knowledge / Indigenous Peoplesapos / Natural resources management / Climate change / Urbanization / Investment / Policies / Land-use planning / Postharvest technology / Technology adoption / Food production / Women / Gender equality / Social inclusion / Food security / Environmental impact / Agroecosystems / Agricultural development / Sustainable Development Goals / Food systems
Yakob, G.; Habte, M.; Smith, J. U.; Hallett, P. D.; Phimister, E.; Rivington, M.; Black, H.; Mekuria, Wolde. 2023. Changes in soil properties with long-term organic inputs due to distance from homestead and farm characteristics in southern Ethiopian farmlands. Geoderma Regional, 35:e00710. (Online first) [DOI]
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Traditional farming systems across much of Sub-Saharan Africa have greater organic inputs near to the homestead than in fields further away. This is likely to produce a fertility gradient that impacts production capacity, and so provides an opportunity to explore impacts of organic amendments on soils. Across 198 farm plots in 69 households in Halaba, Southern Ethiopia, we investigated the influence of different organic input systems on soil properties. The study also examined the influence of household and farm characteristics on the adoption of land management practices and its impact on soil properties. Samples were taken from farm plots located close (300 m) from the homestead, representing different levels of organic amendments. Soils located close to homesteads had significantly greater soil organic carbon, cation exchange capacity and soil nutrient content compared to soil located near and far from the homestead areas. Soil organic carbon concentrations close to the home were 15%, 27% and 45% greater than farm plots located at far from the home in Andegna Choroko, Asore and Lay Arisho kebeles, respectively. Across all sites, the mean soil organic carbon stock ranged from 20.6 t ha- 1 to 84.6 t ha- 1 , depending on the location of the plots with respect to the homestead. Household and farm characteristics also influenced land management practices and soil properties. In some catchments, farm plots managed by female headed households and relatively rich farmers displayed significantly greater soil organic carbon than farm plots managed by male headed and relatively poor households. This was likely due to greater organic inputs in female headed households in areas where men were otherwise engaged in off-farm activities and in wealthier households with greater access to organic manures. Tree cover in farmlands influenced accumulation of soil organic carbon. The results suggest that out-scaling farm management practices that are common around homesteads, such as adding animal manure or household wastes and maintaining tree cover, would help to improve key soil properties and agricultural productivity.
Women / Gender / Income / Households / Agricultural productivity / Cation exchange capacity / Canopy / Agricultural practices / Farmland / Soil organic carbon / Soil fertility / Soil properties
Mekuria, Wolde; Gedle, A.; Tesfaye, Y.; Phimister, E. 2023. Implications of changes in land use for ecosystem service values of two highly eroded watersheds in Lake Abaya Chamo Sub-basin, Ethiopia. Ecosystem Services, 64:101564. (Online first) [DOI]
Ecosystems provide a variety of ecosystem services and functions for mankind, and their sustainable use plays an important role in livelihoods. However, the resulting land degradation due to land use and land cover changes leads to loss of valuable ecosystems and associated ecosystem functions and services. This study takes two highly degraded watersheds, Aba-Bora and Guder, in Ethiopia and uses the value transfer valuation method to estimate changes in ecosystem service values. The study shows how loss of cropland and grazing lands can significantly affect ecosystem services even when plantations and shrubland increase. The results suggest that over a period of 41 years, the ecosystem service value of exclosures/shrublands and plantations increased, whereas that of crop and grazing lands decreased. The loss of ecosystem service values due to the decrease in cropland and grazing lands outweigh the gains due to the expansion of plantations and exclosures and resulted in a total loss of ecosystem service values of US$ 1.6 million in Aba-Bora watershed and US$ 24.4 million in Guder. In both watersheds, the greatest contributor to ecosystem service loss was a decline in supporting services, while the increase in plantation and shrublands (mainly through establishment of exclosures) meant that regulating ecosystem services suffered the smallest loss. Given their importance to livelihoods in these areas, the loss in crop and grazing lands significantly increase the vulnerability to shocks and narrow future livelihood options for many households. Given that severe gully erosion is the major contributor to the reduction in crop and grazing lands, catchment management that integrates the conservation of upstream areas using diverse sustainable land management practices, and gully rehabilitation measures in downstream areas could be an important option to reducing the expansion of big gullies, and conserving crop and grazing lands and ecosystem service values. However, the results suggest that the risks to livelihoods may be underestimated while the effectiveness of current actions to address land degradation over-estimated by communities.
Landscape conservation / Shrublands / Exclosures / Land degradation / Livelihoods / Gully erosion / Grazing lands / Farmland / Watershed management / Ecosystem services / Land cover / Land use
Fenta, H. M.; Aynalem, D. W.; Malmquist, L.; Haileslassie, Amare; Tilahun, Seifu A.; Barron, J.; Adem, A. A.; Adimassu, Z.; Zimale, F. A.; Steenhuis, T. S. 2023. A critical analysis of soil (and water) conservation practices in the Ethiopian Highlands: implications for future research and modeling. Catena, 234:107539. (Online first) [DOI]
Soil and water conservation have been traditionally part of farming practices for thousands of years. Despite massive efforts to implement modern soil and water conservation practices (SWCPs) in the Ethiopian Highlands, soil erosion increased after the 1970s when social and political events led to a remarkable change in land use. This review aims to critically analyze the impact of conservation practices on soil loss and crop yield and highlight research and modeling gaps. In doing so, 120 published articles on experimental and simulated soil losses in the Ethiopian Highlands were retrieved from the refereed literature. We found that most published experimental studies evaluating SWCPs lasted less than five years in areas of less than 100 ha. Most modeling studies were over short periods, too; some models simulated soil loss over large areas. The literature analysis for these short-term experimental studies showed that SWCP decreased soil loss on individual sites and increased crop yield in semi-arid regions. Simulated sediment concentration increased as a function of watershed size, while observed soil losses did not follow this trend. Moreover, the decrease in soil loss due to the soil and water conservation practices on small plots was also greatly overestimated. Consequently, past research and current modeling techniques are inconclusive on the effectiveness of SWCPs in large catchments over periods exceeding five years and those with active gullies. Additional long-term experimental studies in catchments are required to evaluate whether SWCPs can decrease sediment loads.
Modelling / Crop yield / Land use / Environmental monitoring / Ecosystem services / Sediment / Erosion / Soil loss / Highlands / Water conservation / Soil conservation
Aryal, Anil; Pandey, V. P.; Talchabhadel, R.; Thapa, B. R. 2023. Hydro-climatic extremes in a medium range river basin in western Nepal: learning from analysis of observed data. Stochastic Environmental Research and Risk Assessment, 21p. (Online first) [DOI]
Hydro-climatic extremes, such as floods and droughts, are influenced by climate change and climate variability, significantly affecting natural ecosystems, human lives, and livelihood. It is crucial to advance the understanding of long-term trends of hydro-climatic extremes for effective water resource planning and management. We analyzed 25 climatic extremes-related indices and 33 hydrologic extremes-related indices in a medium-range river basin in western Nepal, the Babai River Basin. We used RClimDex and Indicators for Hydrologic Alterations to analyze extreme climatic and hydrologic parameters. We computed monotonic trends to evaluate temporal changes in extreme events. The results show a positive trend of total precipitation at Kusum (+ 2.2 mm/year) and Bargadaha (+ 17.7 mm/year) stations and a negative trend at Gulariya (- 5.7 mm/year), Nayabasti (- 7.0 mm/year), Luwamjula (- 5.9 mm/year), and Ghorai (- 18.5 mm/year) stations. Similarly, we observe that almost all temperature extreme indices have a rising trend except the percentage of the days when the maximum temperature is less than the 10th percentile index at Rani Jaruwa station, located at a low elevation. Notably, the cold day temperature index falls at 0.13 days per year. Overall, the hydrologic alteration value shows moderate variability and reduction in the median flow for the second half. The findings of this study indicate that the study area is subjected to a reduced flow regime with a medium degree of variability.
Spatial distribution / Trends / Discharge / Temperature / Precipitation / Parameters / Climate change / River basins / Indicators / Hydrological factors / Extreme weather events
Simpson, G. B.; Jewitt, G. P. W.; Mabhaudhi, Tafadzwanashe; Taguta, C.; Badenhorst, J. 2023. An African perspective on the water-energy-food nexus. Scientific Reports, 13:16842. [DOI]
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There is a need to address resource security and distributional justice in developing countries. People need water, energy, and food to sustain their livelihoods, grow economies, and achieve sustainable development. The interactions between these resource sectors form the crux of water-energy-food (WEF) nexus assessments. In this study, we have utilised the WEF Nexus Index to analyse the WEF nexus of 54 African nations. The results from the analysis were used to illustrate the opportunities and constraints for future development. Generally, African countries are performing sub-optimally in the WEF Nexus Index due to the insecurity of water, energy and/or food. The performance of countries varies with context, highlighting the need for contextual analysis in identifying challenges and potential solutions. Implementation of interventions for achieving WEF security needs to be planned from an integrated perspective to optimise synergies and minimize trade-offs. Implementation of the WEF nexus approach towards simultaneous security of WEF resources has potential to improve the WEF nexus. For example and for many African countries, policies that undergird investments in energy supply projects are needed to unlock available freshwater resources and meet food requirements—energy is shown to be a critical enabler of development. Such projects can be utilised to enhance the ability of farmers to manage water through drought-proofing rainfed agriculture, an increase in irrigation development, or both. WEF nexus-based studies, policies, and projects must be focused on the direct and indirect achievement of SDGs 1, 2, 6, 7, and 13, both in terms of access and availability, to ensure distributional justice, especially in the African context. Such actions, combined with broad public participation, can have a ripple effect on other SDGs such as SDGs 5, 10, and 17, thereby reducing inequalities and building partnerships to attain these aspirational goals. The assessment of Africa’s relatively low scores in terms of the WEF Nexus Index does not represent a negative narrative. Instead, it provides an entry point to identifying hotspots and understanding the underlying challenges, through which more detailed analyses can lead to identified solutions and policies. Many African countries are trapped in an environment that could be termed a ‘poverty-unemployment-inequality nexus’ (due to the interlinkages that exist between these ‘wicked’ problems). The WEF Nexus Index provides high-level insights into these opportunities.
Freshwater / Food production / Sustainable Development Goals / Policies / Development indicators / Assessment / Nexus approaches / Food security / Energy security / Water resources
Sibanda, M.; Ndlovu, H. S.; Brewer, K.; Buthelezi, S.; Matongera, T. N.; Mutanga, O.; Odidndi, J.; Clulow, A. D.; Chimonyo, V. G. P.; Mabhaudhi, Tafadzwanashe. 2023. Remote sensing hail damage on maize crops in smallholder farms using data acquired by remotely piloted aircraft system. Smart Agricultural Technology, 6:100325. (Online first) [DOI]
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Smallholder farmers reside in marginal environments typified by dryland maize-based farming systems. Despite the significant contribution of smallholder farmers to food production, they are vulnerable to extreme weather events such as hailstorms, floods and drought. Extreme weather events are expected to increase in frequency and intensity under climate change, threatening the sustainability of smallholder farming systems. Access to climate services and information, as well as digital advisories such as Robust spatially explicit monitoring techniques from remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS), could be instrumental in understanding the impact and extent of crop damage. It could assist in providing adequate response mechanisms suitable for bolstering crop productivity in a spatially explicit manner. This study, therefore, sought to evaluate the utility of drone-derived multispectral data in estimating crop productivity elements (Equivalent water thickness (EWT), Chlorophyll content, and leaf area index (LAI)) in maize smallholder croplands based on the random forest regression algorithm. A hailstorm occurred in the study area during the reproductive stages 2 to 3 and 3 to 4. EWT, Chlorophyll content, and LAI were measured before and after the storm. Results of this study showed that EWT, Chlorophyll content, and LAI could be optimally estimated based on the red edge and its spectral derivatives. Specifically, EWT was estimated to a rRMEs 2.7% and 59%, RMSEs of 5.31 gm- 2 and 27.35 gm-2, R2 of 0.88 and 0.77, while chlorophyll exhibited rRMSE of 28% and 25%, RMSEs of 87.4 mol m- 2 and 76.2 mol m- 2 and R2 of 0.89 and 0.80 and LAI yielded a rRMSE of 10.9% and 15.2%, RMSEs of 0.6 m2 /m2 and 0.19 m2 /m2 before and after the hail damage, respectively. Overall, the study underscores the potential of RPAS-based remote sensing as a valuable resource for assessing crop damage and responding to the impact of hailstorms on crop productivity in smallholder croplands. This offers a means to enhance agricultural resilience and adaptability under climate change.
Climate change / Agricultural productivity / Vegetation index / Leaf area index / Plant health / Unmanned aerial vehicles / Small-scale farming / Farmland / Farmers / Smallholders / Remote sensing / Maize / Hail damage / Crop damage
Opola, Felix Ouko; Klerkx, L.; Leeuwis, C.; Kilelu, C. W. 2023. Examining the legitimacy of inclusive innovation processes: perspectives from smallholder farmers in Uasin Gishu, Kenya. Journal of Responsible Innovation, 10(1):2258631. [DOI]
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In recent decades, the concept of inclusive innovation has been used to refer to how innovation can include actors that are considered marginalised from its processes and outcomes. Contrary to the ‘expert-driven’ approaches prevalent in evaluating the legitimacy of such processes, this paper examines the legitimacy of inclusive innovation from the perspective of smallholder farmers with little resource endowments in Uasin Gishu, Kenya, that are targeted with various agricultural innovation interventions. Findings indicate that procedural aspects of legitimacy, such as including farmers as co-innovators and including their knowledge and skills in agricultural innovation processes, are an important criterion used by targeted farmers to accord legitimacy to such interventions. We also find that such interventions need to be stable over time to be legitimate to the intended beneficiaries. These criteria used by targeted actors can be an important addition to evaluation procedures and methods for inclusive innovation.
Intervention / Organizations / Knowledge sharing / Technology / Rural areas / Agricultural development / Farmers / Smallholders / Inclusion / Agricultural innovation
De Keyser, J.; Hayes, D. S.; Marti, B.; Siegfried, T.; Seliger, C.; Schwedhelm, H.; Anarbekov, Oyture; Gafurov, Zafar; Lopez Fernandez, R. M.; Ramos Diez, I.; Alapfy, B.; Carey, J.; Karimov, B.; Karimov, E.; Wagner, B.; Habersack, H. 2023. Integrating open-source datasets to analyze the transboundary water–food–energy–climate nexus in Central Asia. Water, 15(19):3482. (Special issue: Water Management in Central Asia) [DOI]
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In today’s intrinsically connected world, the Water–Food–Energy–Climate Nexus (WFEC Nexus) concept provides a starting point for informed and transparent decision-making based on the trade-offs and synergies between different sectors, including aquatic ecosystems, food security, energy production, and climate neutrality. The WFEC Nexus approach is particularly applicable in regions requiring transboundary water management, such as Central Asia. Unfortunately, this region with unevenly distributed water resources—consisting of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan—is characterized by data scarcity, which limits informed decision-making. However, open-source geodata is becoming increasingly available. This paper aims to fill Central Asia’s WFEC Nexus data gap by providing an overview of key data. We collected geodata through an integrated survey of stakeholders and researchers, stakeholder consultation, and literature screening. Sixty unique datasets were identified, belonging to one of six thematic categories: (1) climate, (2) hydrology, (3) geography and topography, (4) geomorphology, (5) ecology, and (6) anthropogenic uses. For each dataset, a succinct description, including a link to the online source, is provided. We also provide possible applications of using the presented datasets, demonstrating how they can assist in conducting various studies linked to the WFEC Nexus in Central Asia and worldwide.
Anthropogenic factors / Ecology / Geomorphology / Biodiversity / Hydropower / Geographical information systems / Spatial data / Datasets / Open data / Nexus approaches / Climate change / Energy generation / Food security / Transboundary waters
Shrestha, Gitta; Uprety, Labisha; Khadka, Manohara; Mukherji, Aditi. 2023. Technology for whom? Solar irrigation pumps, women, and smallholders in Nepal. Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems, 7:1143546. [DOI]
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Agricultural technologies are often promoted as a medium for women’s economic empowerment, which can transform unequal gender relations in rural agrarian societies. This paper investigates three solar irrigation pump (SIP) schemes implemented by state and non-state actors and examines their impacts on women and marginal farmers. We utilize a theory of change framework intended to evaluate the effectiveness of livelihood interventions and guide the design of gender transformative interventions. Our analysis relies on 63 qualitative interviews, 9 key informant interviews and 4 telephonic interviews with social mobilisers from the Saptari District in Nepal. The findings shed light on the unequal social and gender relations that have skewed the adoption and benefits of SIP technology. Gender and social inequalities persist, with limited adoption and benefit of SIP among women and smallholders. Women’s involvement in strategic decisions related to SIP adoptions, installations and usages is limited. This study underscores the importance of strategic interventions that foster meaningful women’s empowerment and ensure equitable distribution and benefits from SIP technology. Assessing the effectiveness of SIPs in empowering women, it is crucial to consider whether the resulting access, ownership, or decision-making opportunities challenge, reinforce, or reproduce unequal gender and social relations.
Income / Households / Decision making / Social inclusion / Livelihoods / Subsidies / Irrigation schemes / Irrigation technology / Women farmers / Smallholders / s empowerment / Womenapos / Pumps / Solar powered irrigation systems / Gender relations
Assefa, T. T.; Taye, Meron Teferi; Ebrahim, Girma Yimer; Lautze, Jonathan; Seid, Abdulkarim Hussein. 2023. Water storages in Tana-Beles Sub-basin of Ethiopia: what do we know, and where should we go? SN Applied Sciences, 5:275. [DOI]
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The Tana-Beles sub-basin, a strategic economic growth corridor in Ethiopia, relies on water storage to provide a suite of key services to agriculture, drinking water supply, energy, and ecosystems. While there are a range of storage options (e.g., from large dams to subsurface aquifers) that can be utilized to provide these services, a systematic stock-take of literature on water storage in the Tana-Beles has not been undertaken. This knowledge gap constrains the identification of the relative contribution of different storage types in the Tana-Beles. Accordingly, in this study, we conducted a systematic review of literature on the surface and sub-surface storages to examine key issues of the different storage types and their linkages in the Tana-Beles sub-basin. Peer-reviewed and grey publications from various databases were considered for the systematic review. The results indicate that literature in the Tana-Beles sub-basin is more focused on natural storage like wetlands and Lake Tana than built storage types like human-made reservoirs. Overall, the analysis revealed three key points. First, storage volume and water quality in those storages are declining. Second, the causal factors for storage loss and water quality deterioration are agricultural expansion, land degradation, sedimentation, and increasing water withdrawals. Third, the storage gap will increase because of climate change, population, and economic growth while current management options are fragmented. Therefore, the need for more integrated nexus approaches is paramount to optimize storage resources in water, food, energy, and ecosystems in light of population-driven growth in demand and the ongoing global climate crisis.
Systematic reviews / Economic growth / Population growth / Climate change / Sedimentation / Land degradation / Agricultural development / Ponds / Groundwater / Reservoirs / Wetlands / Biodiversity / Nexus approaches / Ecosystems / Food security / Energy / Water quality / Water storage
Matchaya, Greenwell; Garcia, R. J.; Traore, F. 2023. Does bilateral trade in cereals within SADC reflect virtual trade in water between countries with different water endowments? Water International, 48(6):759-782. [DOI]
This paper examines intraregional bilateral trade in virtual water embedded in cereal flows between the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) states. A gravity model is employed to examine whether annual bilateral trade depends on differences in water endowments, but also includes socio-economic and political determinants that affect trade. There is evidence that the abundance of water resources in a country influences trade for a product that is water dependent. Thus, the adverse effect of water scarcity in a country may be ameliorated by encouraging exports of water-intensive cereal crops where water is in abundance and imported where water is scarce.
Models / Policies / Water availability / Water demand / Water scarcity / Water resources / SADC countries / Agricultural trade / Imports / Exports / Virtual water / Cereal crops / International trade
Jampani, Mahesh; Mateo-Sagasta, Javier; Chandrasekar, A.; Fatta-Kassinos, D.; Graham, D. W.; Gothwal, Ritu; Moodley, A.; Chadag, V. M.; Wiberg, David; Langan, Simon. 2023. Fate and transport modelling for evaluating antibiotic resistance in aquatic environments: current knowledge and research priorities. Journal of Hazardous Materials, 461:132527. (Online first) [DOI]
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Antibiotics have revolutionised medicine in the last century and enabled the prevention of bacterial infections that were previously deemed untreatable. However, in parallel, bacteria have increasingly developed resistance to antibiotics through various mechanisms. When resistant bacteria find their way into terrestrial and aquatic environments, animal and human exposures increase, e.g., via polluted soil, food, and water, and health risks multiply. Understanding the fate and transport of antibiotic resistant bacteria (ARB) and the transfer mechanisms of antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) in aquatic environments is critical for evaluating and mitigating the risks of resistant-induced infections. The conceptual understanding of sources and pathways of antibiotics, ARB, and ARGs from society to the water environments is essential for setting the scene and developing an appropriate framework for modelling. Various factors and processes associated with hydrology, ecology, and climate change can significantly affect the fate and transport of ARB and ARGs in natural environments. This article reviews current knowledge, research gaps, and priorities for developing water quality models to assess the fate and transport of ARB and ARGs. The paper also provides inputs on future research needs, especially the need for new predictive models to guide risk assessment on AR transmission and spread in aquatic environments.
Climate change / Risk assessment / Bacteria / Microbial communities / Wastewater treatment plants / Groundwater / Sediment / Health hazards / Environmental factors / Modelling / Water quality / Gene transfer / Aquatic environment / Antibiotic resistance
Adimassu, Zenebe; Mul, Marloes; Owusu, Afua. 2023. Intra-seasonal rainfall variability and crop yield in the Upper East Region of Ghana. Environment, Development and Sustainability, 20p. (Online first) [DOI]
Occurrence of frequent dryspell is affecting agriculture; productivity in the semi-arid areas of West Africa such as northern Ghana. The objective of this study was to analyze the effects of dryspells on rainfed maize (early and late maturing), millet, and sorghum yields in a savanna agro-ecosystem in northern Ghana, and suggest management options for reducing their impacts. Long-term dryspell analyses were carried out using INSTAT + v3.37 on climatic data collected over a 30- to 50-year period. The probabilities of dryspells exceeding 7, 10, 14 and 21 days were calculated for crop types during different physiological growth stages and growing seasons of varying lengths. CROPWAT 8.0 was used to determine effective rainfall, crop water requirement, crop water deficit, and changes in yield. The results showed that 80% of the rains begin between the second week of May and the third week of June in the Upper East Region of Ghana. The result also revealed that more dryspells occurred after the initial growth stage of crops. During mid and late stages of crop growth there was a 50% probability of dryspells greater than seven days for early maturing maize and millet and of gt; 70% for sorghum. Late maturing maize experienced higher crop water deficit than early maturing maize. The result also showed that significant yield reduction (36% reduction in late maturing maize at both Navrongo and Zuarungu) occurs if planting is done before May 21. Similarly, 25 and 23% yield losses, were observed in sorghum at Navrongo and Zuarungu, respectively. We therefore recommend (i) early maturing crop varieties, (ii) adjusting sowing dates based on seasonal climate information, and (iii) improving water management.
Models / Soil profiles / Climatic data / Water management / Water deficit / Sowing date / Sorghum / Millets / Maize / Rainfed farming / Dry spells / Water requirements / Crop yield / Seasonal variation / Rainfall patterns
Darteh, Bertha; Cofie, Olufunke; Nikiema, Josiane; Mapedza, Everisto; Gebrezgabher, Solomie; Okem, Andrew Emmanuel. 2023. Response to COVID-19: building resilience through water and wastewater management in Ghana. Journal of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene for Development, 13(10):811-824. [DOI]
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This study assessed the effects of COVID-19 on Ghana’s WASH system. It focused on low-income households and WASH sector stakeholders using Ayawaso East Municipality as a case study to document lessons from the pandemic’s impact on the WASH sector. We used the water and sanitation system approach to understand the effects of COVID-19 mitigation measures on the WASH system. Data were collected through surveys, stakeholder engagements, and document analysis. We found that the government’s WASH response increased hygiene practices, solid and liquid waste generation, and water consumption. Sanitation service providers experienced reduced demands for their services, lost clients, and increased operational expenditure. The pandemic’s impact is gendered, with women and girls experiencing a greater burden. We argue that responses to the pandemic highlight the need and opportunities for sustainable management of sanitation waste through integrated, circular economy business models, turning waste into valuable resources. Responses to COVID-19 in the WASH system are multisectoral because of its interconnected nature, highlighting the need to integrate sectors beyond water and sanitation. This requires improved institutional structures, policies, investment, and professionalising service providers.
Case studies / Sustainability / Risk / Households / Stakeholders / Institutions / Policies / Business models / Circular economy / Investment / Private sector / Women / Social inclusion / Gender / State intervention / Municipal governments / Pandemics / Resilience / Water management / Waste management / Wastewater / Water, sanitation and hygiene / COVID-19
Shafeeque, Muhammad; Hafeez, Mohsin; Sarwar, A.; Arshad, A.; Khurshid, T.; Asim, M. I.; Ali, S.; Dilawar, A. 2023. Quantifying future water-saving potential under climate change and groundwater recharge scenarios in Lower Chenab Canal, Indus River Basin. Theoretical and Applied Climatology, 18p. (Online first) [DOI]
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Quantifying water-saving potential (WSP) is crucial for sustainable water resource management in canal command areas and river basins. Previous studies have partially or fully ignored the importance of groundwater in WSP assessments, particularly in irrigated areas. This study is aimed at quantifying WSP in the Lower Chenab Canal (LCC) command area of the Indus River Basin, Pakistan, under various scenarios of future climate change and groundwater recharge. These quantifications are conducted using an empirical model based on the Budyko theory. The model was forced using observed, remote sensing, and CMIP6 future climate data for two Shared Socioeconomic Pathways (SSP245 and SSP585) and their ensembles (cold-dry, cold-wet, warm-dry, and warm-wet) for possible futures. The results showed that the average WSP in the LCC command area was 466 48 mm/year during the historical period (2001–2020). The WSP is projected to decrease by – 68 3% under the warm-dry ensemble scenario (SSP245 and SSP585) and – 48 13% under the ensembled cold-wet scenario by 2100. The results also demonstrated that WSP could be increased by up to 70 9% by artificially recharging 20% of the abstracted groundwater per year in the LCC command area by the late twenty-first century. Our findings highlight the importance of adopting artificial groundwater recharge to enhance the WSP and sustainably manage water resources in the LCC command area. Policymakers should consider these findings when deciding on water resource management in the Indus River Basin.
Models / Projections / Water availability / Artificial recharge / Energy balance / Water management / Water resources / Irrigation efficiency / Irrigation systems / River basins / Groundwater recharge / Climate change / Water conservation
Jain, S. K.; Sikka, Alok K.; Alam, Mohammad Faiz. 2023. Water-energy-food-ecosystem nexus in India—A review of relevant studies, policies, and programmes. Frontiers in Water, 5:1128198. [DOI]
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Current approaches for utilization of resources in water-energy-food-ecosystem (WEFE) sectors appear to be unsustainable and sub-optimal because of silo-based approaches that ignore interconnectedness across these interdependent sectors. A nexus approach that considers the interactions and interdependence among the sectors helps overcome weaknesses of silo-based approaches to better address synergies and trade-offs. This paper discusses the concept of the WEFE nexus-based approach for achieving water, energy, food, and environment security in India and presents a review of recent relevant literature. The paper critically reviews the key Indian government policies and programmes in the WEFE sector to assess the synergies and trade-offs among them. More than ˜ 40 programmes across WEFE sectors were studied to understand the efforts underway in these sectors to attain the respective policy goals. Although the implementation of the nexus concept will depend upon the enabling government policies and programmes, we find that discussions on these aspects are missing in the literature. Our review shows that the policies of different sectors give inadequate consideration to the impacts of decisions on the other related sectors. Although the various programmes are appreciably contributing to the policy goals and security for respective sectors, there are significant overlaps among the programmes which could positively or negatively impact other sector(s). There is a need to quantify the trade-offs by using an integrated approach including modeling with the WEFE nexus lens. The study also discusses the key challenges and barriers in implementing the nexus concept in India and how to overcome them.
Sustainable Development Goals / Water security / Government / Programmes / Policies / Nexus approaches / Ecosystems / Food security / Energy security / Water resources
Khadka, Manohara; Joshi, Deepa; Uprety, Labisha; Shrestha, Gitta. 2023. Gender and socially inclusive WASH in Nepal: moving beyond “technical fixes”. Frontiers in Human Dynamics, 5:1181734. [DOI]
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The enactment of a new Constitution in 2015 in Nepal marked a shift to a representative system of federal governance. Earlier in 2002, the country’s Tenth Five Year Plan had committed to a core focus on gender equality and social inclusion (GESI) in national policies and governance. How do these two strategic shifts in policy align in the case of WASH projects in rural Nepal? Applying a feminist political lens, we review the implementation of WASH initiatives in two rural districts to show that deep-rooted intersectional complexities of caste, class, and gender prevent inclusive WASH outcomes. Our findings show that the policy framing for gender equitable and socially inclusive outcomes have not impacted the WASH sector, where interventions continue as essentially technical interventions. While there has been significant increase in the number of women representatives in local governance structures since 2017, systemic, informal power relationship by caste, ethnicity and gender entrenched across institutional structures and cultures persist and continue to shape unequal gender-power dynamics. This is yet another example that shows that transformative change requires more than just affirmative policies.
Rural areas / Decision making / Governance / Policies / Local government / Institutions / Federalism / Political aspects / Ethnicity / Caste systems / Women / Social inclusion / Gender equality / Water, sanitation and hygiene
Akpoti, Komlavi; Dembele, Moctar; Forkuor, G.; Obuobie, E.; Mabhaudhi, Tafadzwanashe; Cofie, Olufunke. 2023. Integrating GIS and remote sensing for land use/land cover mapping and groundwater potential assessment for climate-smart cocoa irrigation in Ghana. Scientific Reports, 13:16025. [DOI]
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Although Ghana is a leading global cocoa producer, its production and yield have experienced declines in recent years due to various factors, including long-term climate change such as increasing temperatures and changing rainfall patterns, as well as drought events. With the increasing exposure of cocoa-producing regions to extreme weather events, the vulnerability of cocoa production is also expected to rise. Supplemental irrigation for cocoa farmers has emerged as a viable adaptation strategy to ensure a consistent water supply and enhance yield. However, understanding the potential for surface and groundwater irrigation in the cocoa-growing belt remains limited. Consequently, this study aims to provide decision-support maps for surface and groundwater irrigation potential to aid planning and investment in climate-smart cocoa irrigation. Utilizing state-of-the-art geospatial and remote sensing tools, data, and methods, alongside in-situ groundwater data, we assess the irrigation potential within Ghanaapos;s cocoa-growing areas. Our analysis identified a total area of 22,126 km2 for cocoa plantations and 125.2 km2 for surface water bodies within the cocoa-growing regions. The multi-criteria analysis (MCA) revealed that approximately 80% of the study area exhibits moderate to very high groundwater availability potential. Comparing the MCA output with existing borehole locations demonstrated a reasonable correlation, with about 80% of existing boreholes located in areas with moderate to very high potential. Boreholes in very high potential areas had the highest mean yield of 90.7 l/min, while those in low groundwater availability potential areas registered the lowest mean yield of 58.2 l/min. Our study offers a comprehensive evaluation of water storage components and their implications for cocoa irrigation in Ghana. While groundwater availability shows a generally positive trend, soil moisture and surface water have been declining, particularly in the last decade. These findings underline the need for climate-smart cocoa irrigation strategies that make use of abundant groundwater resources during deficit periods. A balanced conjunctive use of surface and groundwater resources could thus serve as a sustainable solution for maintaining cocoa production in the face of climate change.
Climate change / Water availability / Surface water / Remote sensing / Geographical information systems / Groundwater assessment / Groundwater potential / Land cover mapping / Land-use mapping / Groundwater irrigation / Cocoa / Climate-smart agriculture
Mabhaudhi, Tafadzwanashe; Chibarabada, T. P.; Sikka, Alok. 2023. Status of integrated crop-livestock research in the mixed farming systems of the Global South: a scoping study. Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems, 7:1241675. [DOI]
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Mixed farming systems (MFS) are the main food source and exist across almost all agroecological regions in the Global South. A systematic scoping review was conducted to identify the status of integrated crop-livestock research in MFS of the Global South. The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses protocol was used to identify 210 studies (excluding reviews) addressing productivity, resilience, challenges, opportunities, and perceptions of integrating crops and livestock in the Global South from the Scopus and Web of Science database. Publication details, problem statement, experimental details and research outcomes of each study were extracted into an MS. Excel sheet. Descriptive methods such as frequency counting and the word frequency cloud were used to analyze the data and identify emerging themes. Integrated crop-livestock research was mostly conducted in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia and not much from North Africa and the Caribbean. The integrated research has been focused on farm production of human food and animal feed by smallholder farmers and soil productivity. Maize was the most dominant crop, while for livestock, it was sheep and cattle. The integrated crop-livestock research seeked to address various challenges, including the growing demand for food and fodder, water scarcity, land scarcity and degradation, climate change, disease outbreaks and social changes. The review summarized proposed strategies and approaches to improve the efficiency of MFS in the Global South. Under the current challenges, feed quality and supply can be improved through adoption of high biomass, climate smart and improved drought-tolerant fodder crops. Using crop residues incorporated in crop fields for improved soil organic matter and controlled grazing were some strategies suggested for land rehabilitation. Building the resilience of smallholder farmers in MFS can be done through diversification and ensuring access to information, markets and finance. Policies that promote the business component, i.e., markets, training, gender equality, private investments, tenure systems and technology adoption were identified for the sustainability of MFS. There is need for research that integrates crop-livestock systems and natural resource management innovations and that evaluates sustainable intensification strategies to meet productivity goals without compromising social and ecological outcomes in MFS.
Systematic reviews / Strategies / Farmers / Smallholders / Food security / Climate change / Soil fertility / Maize / Fodder / Sheep / Cattle / Farming systems research / Integrated crop-livestock systems / Mixed farming
Abrahams, M.; Sibanda, M.; Dube, T.; Chimonyo, V. G. P.; Mabhaudhi, Tafadzwanashe. 2023. A systematic review of UAV applications for mapping neglected and underutilised crop species’ spatial distribution and health. Remote Sensing, 15(19):4672. (Special issue: Crops and Vegetation Monitoring with Remote/Proximal Sensing II) [DOI]
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Timely, accurate spatial information on the health of neglected and underutilised crop species (NUS) is critical for optimising their production and food and nutrition in developing countries. Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) equipped with multispectral sensors have significantly advanced remote sensing, enabling the provision of near-real-time data for crop analysis at the plot level in small, fragmented croplands where NUS are often grown. The objective of this study was to systematically review the literature on the remote sensing (RS) of the spatial distribution and health of NUS, evaluating the progress, opportunities, challenges, and associated research gaps. This study systematically reviewed 171 peer-reviewed articles from Google Scholar, Scopus, and Web of Science using the PRISMA approach. The findings of this study showed that the United States (n = 18) and China (n = 17) were the primary study locations, with some contributions from the Global South, including southern Africa. The observed NUS crop attributes included crop yield, growth, leaf area index (LAI), above-ground biomass (AGB), and chlorophyll content. Only 29% of studies explored stomatal conductance and the spatial distribution of NUS. Twenty-one studies employed satellite-borne sensors, while only eighteen utilised UAV-borne sensors in conjunction with machine learning (ML), multivariate, and generic GIS classification techniques for mapping the spatial extent and health of NUS. The use of UAVs in mapping NUS is progressing slowly, particularly in the Global South, due to exorbitant purchasing and operational costs, as well as restrictive regulations. Subsequently, research efforts must be directed toward combining ML techniques and UAV-acquired data to monitor NUS’ spatial distribution and health to provide necessary information for optimising food production in smallholder croplands in the Global South.
Systematic reviews / Vegetation index / Farmland / Smallholders / Stomatal conductance / Spatial distribution / Precision agriculture / Food security / Machine learning / Remote sensing / Crop production / Plant health / Unmanned aerial vehicles / Mapping / Underutilized species
Buchy, Marlene; Elias, M.; Khadka, Manohara. 2023. Invisible women: barriers for women professionals in the water, energy, food, and environment sectors in Nepal. Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems, 7:1146187. [DOI]
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Despite evidence of women’s roles and expertise in the management of water, energy, food, and the environment (WEFE), the WEFE literature is almost silent on gender issues. In the context of climate change, achieving more inclusive management of natural resources is vital; yet women continue to be underrepresented as professionals in WEFE sectors, and largely absent in leadership positions. Using Nepal as a case study, this paper explores the enduring barriers to their exclusion, and entry points for greater equity among professionals in these sectors. To do so, we draw on key informant interviews with 34 male and 31 women professionals from government, civil society, non-governmental organizations and consultants, as well as a roundtable discussion with 20 women professionals specifically focused on gender barriers in these sectors in Nepal. Drawing on Gaventa (2006)’s power cube, this paper examines how power dynamics within and between the public and the private spheres create a web of barriers that conflate to sideline women professionals. While women have reached the “closed space” as defined by Gaventa (i.e., are recruited to professional positions in WEFE sectors), different sources of “hidden” and “invisible” power at play in the public and private spheres continue to limit their participation, influence and decision-making. We argue that the continued marginalization of women professionals calls for a focus on understanding the power and intersectionality dynamics that sustain exclusion. This focus is critical for the development of strategies to increase the voice and leadership of women professionals in WEFE decision-making.
Policies / Non-governmental organizations / Private sector / Public sector / Sexual harassment / Ethnicity / Caste systems / Discrimination / Marginalization / Decision making / Social norms / Climate change / Nexus approaches / Environment / Food production / Energy / Water management / Leadership / Barriers / Role of women / Social inclusion / Gender equality
Gbodji, Kekeli Kofi; Quarmine, William; Minh, Thai Thi. 2023. Effective demand for climate-smart adaptation: a case of solar technologies for cocoa irrigation in Ghana. Sustainable Environment, 9(1):2258472. [DOI]
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Given the generally low adoption of early climate change response technologies among tree crop producers in sub-Saharan Africa, stakeholders interested in the commercialization or scaling of such technologies will require empirical evidence of their market prospects. Using a double-bounded contingent valuation approach, the study evaluated the willingness and ability of 523 Ghanaian producers to invest in solar-powered irrigation pumps (SPIPs) for cocoa irrigation. The sample was split into three segments based on farm size: resource-poor, resource-limited, and resource-rich. Our results show that effective demand increased across the resource segments, with resource-endowed farmers more likely to demand SPIPs than resource-limited or resource-poor farmers. Also, while willingness to invest (WTI) depended on resourcefulness (land), farmers’ ability to invest was directly related to their resource (income class) endowment. We found that WTI across the resource segments was positively influenced by income, education, livestock ownership, credit, and extension services and negatively affected by household size and age of cocoa trees. Among others, we propose that promotional strategies for SPIPs should incorporate well-planned initiatives for income diversification and microcredit services to improve the financial position of the resource-poor and limited segment to encourage the adoption of these technologies.
Climate change / Socioeconomic environment / Smallholders / Investment / Innovation scaling / Farmer-led irrigation / Cocoa / Pumps / Solar powered irrigation systems / Irrigation technology / Climate-smart agriculture
Wang, L.; Gu, X.; Slater, L. J.; Lai, Y.; Zheng, Y.; Gong, J.; Dembele, Moctar; Tosunoglu, F.; Liu, J.; Zhang, X.; Kong, D.; Li, J. 2023. Attribution of the record-breaking extreme precipitation events in July 2021 over central and eastern China to anthropogenic climate change. Earthapos;s Future, 11(9):e2023EF003613. [DOI]
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In July 2021, Typhoon In-Fa produced record-breaking extreme precipitation events (hereafter referred to as the 2021 EPEs) in central and eastern China, and caused serious socioeconomic losses and casualties. However, it is still unknown whether the 2021 EPEs can be attributed to anthropogenic climate change (ACC) and how the occurrence probabilities of precipitation events of a similar magnitude might evolve in the future. The 2021 EPEs in central (eastern) China occurred in the context of no linear trend (a significantly increasing trend at a rate of 4.44%/decade) in the region-averaged Rx5day (summer maximum 5-day accumulated precipitation) percentage precipitation anomaly (PPA), indicating that global warming might have no impact on the 2021 EPE in central China but might have impacted the 2021 EPE in eastern China by increasing the long-term trend of EPEs. Using the scaled generalized extreme value distribution, we detected a slightly negative (significantly positive) association of the Rx5day PPA time series in central (eastern) China with the global mean temperature anomaly, suggesting that global warming might have no (a detectable) contribution to the changes in occurrence probability of precipitation extremes like the 2021 EPEs in central (eastern) China. Historical attributions (1961–2020) showed that the likelihood of the 2021 EPE in central/eastern China decreased/increased by approximately +47% (-23% to +89%)/+55% (-45% to +201%) due to ACC. By the end of the 21st century, the likelihood of precipitation extremes similar to the 2021 EPE in central/eastern China under SSP585 is 14 (9–19)/15 (9–20) times higher than under historical climate conditions.
Greenhouse gas emissions / Time series analysis / Climate models / Climatology / Forecasting / Climate prediction / Extreme weather events / Anthropogenic climate change / Precipitation
Kuehne, L. M.; Dickens, Chris; Tickner, D.; Messager, M. L.; Olden, J. D.; O’Brien, G.; Lehner, B.; Eriyagama, Nishadi. 2023. The future of global river health monitoring. PLOS Water, 2(9):e0000101. [DOI]
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Rivers are the arteries of human civilisation and culture, providing essential goods and services that underpin water and food security, socio-economic development and climate resilience. They also support an extraordinary diversity of biological life. Human appropriation of land and water together with changes in climate have jointly driven rapid declines in river health and biodiversity worldwide, stimulating calls for an Emergency Recovery Plan for freshwater ecosystems. Yet freshwater ecosystems like rivers have been consistently under-represented within global agreements such as the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the UN Convention on Biological Diversity. Even where such agreements acknowledge that river health is important, implementation is hampered by inadequate global-scale indicators and a lack of coherent monitoring efforts. Consequently, there is no reliable basis for tracking global trends in river health, assessing the impacts of international agreements on river ecosystems and guiding global investments in river management to priority issues or regions. We reviewed national and regional approaches for river health monitoring to develop a comprehensive set of scalable indicators that can support “top-down” global surveillance while also facilitating standardised “bottom-up” local monitoring efforts. We evaluate readiness of these indicators for implementation at a global scale, based on their current status and emerging improvements in underlying data sources and methodologies. We chart a road map that identifies data and technical priorities and opportunities to advance global river health monitoring such that an adequate monitoring framework could be in place and implemented by 2030, with the potential for substantial enhancement by 2050. Lastly, we present recommendations for coordinated action and investment by policy makers, research funders and scientists to develop and implement the framework to support conservation and restoration of river health globally.
Sustainable Development Goals / Policies / Agreements / Environmental restoration / Surface water / Hydrology / Biology / Habitats / Water quality / Indicators / Biodiversity / Freshwater ecosystems / Frameworks / Monitoring / Environmental health / Rivers
Buchy, Marlene; Shakya, Shristi. 2023. Understanding the gap between the gender equality and social inclusion policy and implementation in the energy sector: the case of Nepal. Energy for Sustainable Development, 76:101297. [DOI]
Social norms are often put forward to explain resistance to gender equality and social inclusion (GESI), and women continue to be largely absent from decision-making positions in the energy sector worldwide. However, there is limited research on the institutional mechanisms of policy-making and implementation at different scales within a federal system.; Using Nepal as a case study, this paper explores why, despite commitments, progress toward GESI objectives in the energy sector has been slow. Based on a review of energy policies, and interviews at federal, provincial and local government spheres, this paper focuses on the institutional and policy processes at play within the energy sector and between the three spheres of the federal system (the national, provincial and local). It examines the extent to which these processes undermine the implementation of inclusion policy. Understanding the broader institutional processes helps to identify different types of bottlenecks compromising progress in GESI: those which are linked to deficient policy regimes which cannot be addressed solely through additional GESI-focused interventions, and those which can be characterized as resistant to GESI-related issues. The aim of this research is also to understand why Nepal’s public energy institutions, despite a constitutional commitment to gender equality and non-discrimination based on caste, class, ethnicity and religion, seem so reluctant to mainstream GESI within its policies and practice. The paper concludes that GESI implementation in the energy sector suffers from limited human resources, a narrow conceptual framing and delays in policy development and implementation within different spheres of the federal system. Moreover, shortcomings related to GESI policy-making and implementation should be considered within the broader context of federalism. Therefore, to support GESI policy implementation, bureaucratic as well as local-level ownership of the concept and its relevance for sustainable development must be developed and strengthened.
Government / Bureaucracy / Federalism / Political aspects / Institutions / Women / Decision making / Social inclusion / Gender equality / Energy policies
Dembele, Moctar; Salvadore, E.; Zwart, Sander; Ceperley, N.; Mariethoz, G.; Schaefli, B. 2023. Water accounting under climate change in the transboundary Volta River Basin with a spatially calibrated hydrological model. Journal of Hydrology, 626(Part A):130092. [DOI]
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Sustainable water management requires evidence-based information on the current and future states of water resources. This study presents a comprehensive modelling framework that integrates the fully distributed mesoscale Hydrologic Model (mHM) and climate change scenarios with the Water Accounting Plus (WA+) tool to anticipate future water resource challenges and provide mitigation measures in the transboundary Volta River basin (VRB) in West Africa. The mHM model is forced with a large ensemble of climate change projection data from CORDEX-Africa. Outputs from mHM are used as inputs to the WA+ framework to report on water flows and consumption over the historical baseline period 1991–2020 and the near-term future 2021–2050 at the basin scale, and also across spatial domains including four climatic zones, four sub-basins and six riparian countries.; The long-term multi-model ensemble mean of the net inflow to the basin is found to be 419 km3 /year with an inter-annual variability of 11% and is projected to slightly increase in the near-term future (2021–2050). However, evaporation consumes most of the net inflow, with only 8% remaining as runoff. About 4 km3 /year of water is currently used for man-made activities. Only 45% of the available water is beneficially consumed, with the agricultural sector representing 34% of the beneficial water consumption. Water availability is projected to increase in the future due to the increase in rainfall, along with higher inter-model and inter-annual variabilities, thereby highlighting the need for adaptation strategies. These findings and the proposed climate-resilient land and water management strategies can help optimize the water-energy-food-ecosystem nexus and support evidence-based decisions and policy-making for sustainable water management in the VRB.
Climatic zones / Runoff / Land use / Land cover / Evaporation / Climate models / Water use / Water availability / Sustainability / Water management / Water resources / Water balance / Hydrological modelling / River basins / Transboundary waters / Climate change / Water accounting
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. [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. [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 flow implementation to bend the curve of global freshwater biodiversity loss. Environmental Reviews, 27p. (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-flow science, assessment, and societal acceptance, implementation of e-flows within water resource management has been slower than required and geographically uneven. This review explores critical factors that enable successful e-flow implementation and biodiversity outcomes in particular, drawing on 13 case studies and the literature. It presents e-flow 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-flow 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, 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, 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, 45(4):1922-1940. [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