Review on the sustainability of irrigation dam projects and agriculture water use efficiency problems in Ethiopia
Asmiro Abeje Fikadu
Debre Tabor University, Agricultural Economics, Ethiopia
Water is the central issue for achieving the overall Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Ethiopia is constructing large, medium, and small scale dams or reservoirs for irrigation practices to enhance the production and productivity of agriculture. However, the constructed irrigation dams are not working properly as expected of the estimation of their life span. Thus, the aim of this systematic review is that identifying the drivers that are influencing the functionality of the irrigation dams in its economic perspective, agriculture water use efficiency, and pointing out the possible suggestions for the government to improve the agriculture water use efficiency and keep the sustainability of the economic value of the constructed irrigation dams. This paper revealed that farmers cannot outshine from their subsistence farming even though they have been practicing irrigation for a long time. Additionally, this review showed that the challenges that hinder the constructed irrigation dam functionality includes high level of sediment, poor water and soil conservation practices in the upper level of the dams, farmers lack of knowledge on the use of irrigation technologies/ structures, damage canals or deterioration of irrigation structures, and faces tragedy of common (no responsible body for managing the irrigation dam after construction). The problems in the perspective of agriculture water use efficiency includes mismanagement of irrigation or water extravagancy, lack of knowledge on irrigation use and maintenance, lack of research on crop-specific water demand, waterlogging problems, and improper irrigation schedule. To achieve agriculture water use efficiency, the combination of water-efficient technologies and incentives for proper use and conservation of the irrigation schemes and dams to be required. Thus, the systematic review will provide decision makers with effective regulations to manage water use and allocation, enhance the attitude of the communities, mobilise the community to adopt soil and water conservation practices to reduce the level of sediment and keep the sustainability of the irrigation dam and lead to increase in agriculture water use efficiency.
Keywords: Ethiopia, irrigation dam, sustainability, water use efficiency
Contact Address: Asmiro Abeje Fikadu, Debre Tabor University, Agricultural Economics, Debre Tabor, Ethiopia, e-mail: asmiro2013gmail.com