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Smallholder groundwater irrigation in Sub-Saharan Africa: country-level estimates of development potential

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  • Paul Pavelic
  • Karen G. Villholth
  • Yunqiao Shu
  • Lisa-Maria Rebelo
  • Vladimir Smakhtin

Abstract

The abundance of groundwater resources of Sub-Saharan Africa is generally well recognized, but quantitative estimates of their potential for irrigation development are lacking. This study derives estimates using a simple and generic water balance approach and data from secondary sources for 13 countries. Even with conservative assumptions and accounting for water demands from other sectors, including the environment, a 120-fold increase (by 13.5 million hectares) in the area under groundwater irrigation is possible for the countries considered. This expansion could improve the livelihoods of approximately 40% of the present-day rural population.

Suggested Citation

  • Paul Pavelic & Karen G. Villholth & Yunqiao Shu & Lisa-Maria Rebelo & Vladimir Smakhtin, 2013. "Smallholder groundwater irrigation in Sub-Saharan Africa: country-level estimates of development potential," Water International, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(4), pages 392-407, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:rwinxx:v:38:y:2013:i:4:p:392-407
    DOI: 10.1080/02508060.2013.819601
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    Cited by:

    1. Worqlul, Abeyou W. & Dile, Yihun T. & Schmitter, Petra & Jeong, Jaehak & Meki, Manyowa N. & Gerik, Thomas J. & Srinivasan, Raghavan & Lefore, Nicole & Clarke, Neville, 2019. "Water resource assessment, gaps, and constraints of vegetable production in Robit and Dangishta watersheds, Upper Blue Nile Basin, Ethiopia," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 226(C).
    2. Aarnoudse, E. & Closas, Alvar & Lefore, Nicole, 2018. "Water user associations: a review of approaches and alternative management options for Sub-Saharan Africa," IWMI Working Papers H048782, International Water Management Institute.
    3. Pavelic, Paul & Senaratna Sellamuttu, Sonali & Johnston, Robyn & McCartney, Matthew & Sotoukee, Touleelor & Balasubramanya, Soumya & Suhardiman, Diana & Lacombe, Guillaume & Douangsavanh, Somphasith &, 2015. "Integrated assessment of groundwater use for improving livelihoods in the dry zone of Myanmar," IWMI Research Reports 229608, International Water Management Institute.
    4. Dong-Gill Kim & Elisa Grieco & Antonio Bombelli & Jonathan E. Hickman & Alberto Sanz-Cobena, 2021. "Challenges and opportunities for enhancing food security and greenhouse gas mitigation in smallholder farming in sub-Saharan Africa. A review," Food Security: The Science, Sociology and Economics of Food Production and Access to Food, Springer;The International Society for Plant Pathology, vol. 13(2), pages 457-476, April.
    5. Mohammed Wazed, Saeed & Hughes, Ben Richard & O’Connor, Dominic & Kaiser Calautit, John, 2018. "A review of sustainable solar irrigation systems for Sub-Saharan Africa," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 81(P1), pages 1206-1225.
    6. Lorenzo, C. & Almeida, R.H. & Martínez-Núñez, M. & Narvarte, L. & Carrasco, L.M., 2018. "Economic assessment of large power photovoltaic irrigation systems in the ECOWAS region," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 155(C), pages 992-1003.

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