A framework for the use of decision-support tools at various spatial scales for the management of irrigated agriculture in West-Africa

DOI: 10.4236/as.2013.48A002   PDF   HTML     6,938 Downloads   8,941 Views   Citations


The Kou watershed, situated in the Southwestern part of Burkina Faso, has succumbed since a couple of decades in a typical theater play of anarchistic water management. With its 1800 km2, this small watershed holds the second largest city of Burkina Faso (Bobo-Dioulasso), a former State ran irrigated rice scheme and several informal agricultural zones. Despite the abundance on water resources, most water users find themselves regularly facing to water shortages due to an increase in population and low irrigation efficiencies. Local stakeholders are hence in need of easy-to-use and low-cost decision support tools for the monitoring and exploitation of the water resources at different spatial and user levels. A top-to-bottom string of adapted water management tools has been successfully installed to tackle the problems: from watershed (top) to field level (bottom), passing by the 1200 ha irrigation scheme. Land use maps have been derived from time-series of free satellite images. Combined with data from a network of hydrologic gauging stations, regional water use maps were established. SIMIS was put in place for the public-private management of the regions irrigated rice scheme. Day to day water use on irrigated plots was followed by soil humidity and crop canopy measurements. A simple field-cropwater balance model Aqua Crop was used by extension workers to draft optimal irrigation charts. Each tool was applied independently, requiring only limited data; but their combined results contributed to an improved integrated water management.

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Wellens, J. , Traoré, F. , Diallo, M. and Tychon, B. (2013) A framework for the use of decision-support tools at various spatial scales for the management of irrigated agriculture in West-Africa. Agricultural Sciences, 4, 9-15. doi: 10.4236/as.2013.48A002.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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