Programme  OS4c Modelling and information management  abstract 436

Defining Indicators of Irrigation Performance in the context of IWRM monitoring in West Africa

Author(s): Jacques Rey, Florence Ardorino, Hervé Lévite, Rui Silva, Jean-Paul Luc

Keyword(s): IWRM, monitoring, irrigation, West Africa

Article: abs436_article.pdf
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Session: OS4c Modelling and information management
AbstractFor more than a decade now, an important

emphasis has been put by the international aid community on the setting up of Integrated Water Resource

Management (IWRM) principles. The aim is to avoid negative impacts and future conflicts over water and then to

create an enabling environment for water development projects. However in Sub-Saharan Africa , there is still a lack

of means for data collection and processing. Therefore IWRM tools must be simple and robust. The Commission of

the Economic Community of West African States has created a Water Resource Coordination Unit (WRCU) with

the specific role of helping its 15 member countries on IWRM policies. In order to harmonise these policies, WRCU

is setting up a Regional Water Observatory. In this paper the process in progress is presented and especially the

delicate issue of looking at performances of irrigated agriculture – the principal water consumer - in the evaluation of

IWRM. The central question is: how can we put coherence between indicators of IWRM and indicators of

performance in irrigation. For that work, the cases of three transboundary basin authorities (Senegal, Niger, Volta)

which are at different stages of development are considered. The study is based on data available at WRCU and

discussions with stakeholders and donors. The latter are posing new conditions on water productivity and integration

of IWRM principles before any new agricultural water investment in the region. Analyse shows that this reflection is

not so simple. Indeed one should not consider anymore the irrigation scheme only as an intake from the hydrological

system. One must integrate possible positive externalities of irrigation (in terms of groundwater recharge, artificial

wetlands, birds refuge, flood protection...). In the same vein, within the framework of foreseen development of

several multiple uses dams in the region (i.e. Niger basin), the concept of performance must be reconsidered with

more integration of the other uses and environmental services (fishing, drinking water protection, carbon

sequestration, tourism and biodiversity) and more importantly with strong considerations of local situations.

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