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The Significance of Small Reservoirs in Sustaining Agricultural Landscapes in Dry Areas of West Africa: A Review

Owusu, Seth and Cofie, Olufunke and Mul, Marloes and Barron, Jennie (2022). The Significance of Small Reservoirs in Sustaining Agricultural Landscapes in Dry Areas of West Africa: A Review. Water. 14 :9 , 1440
[Article Review/Survey]

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Abstract

Water scarcity is a growing challenge in semi-arid and sub-humid areas. There are over 2000 small reservoirs (SRs) with storage capacities of up to 1 x 10(6) m(3) across West Africa's dry areas. Based on a comprehensive literature review, we found strong evidence that SRs enable improved food security, livelihoods, and income diversification through fishing and livestock production. However, their productivity is far below their potential. Evidence on water quantity and quality is scattered, making deriving conclusions difficult. Review findings suggest that, unlike large dams, SRs have minimal impact on water balance and rainfall-runoff. There is, therefore, considerable potential to develop more SRs. However, high rates of sedimentation substantially reduce reservoir storage capacity. Poor irrigation management and agronomic practices also contribute to low productivity. Water quality is not systematically monitored, so SRs can increase health risks such as malaria and schistosomiasis. With the intensification of settlements, livestock, and agriculture around the reservoirs, it is critical to improve water quality and quantity monitoring. We conclude that SRs are important nature-based solutions, but need more investment to support the climate-proofing of agriculture and livelihoods. We recommend governments develop long-term small reservoir support programs to strengthen local capacities to manage the reservoirs and their watersheds sustainably.

Authors/Creators:Owusu, Seth and Cofie, Olufunke and Mul, Marloes and Barron, Jennie
Title:The Significance of Small Reservoirs in Sustaining Agricultural Landscapes in Dry Areas of West Africa: A Review
Series Name/Journal:Water
Year of publishing :2022
Volume:14
Number:9
Article number:1440
Number of Pages:21
Publisher:MDPI
ISSN:2073-4441
Language:English
Publication Type:Article Review/Survey
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Published version
Copyright:Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0
Full Text Status:Public
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 4 Agricultural Sciences > 405 Other Agricultural Sciences > Environmental Sciences related to Agriculture and Land-use
(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 1 Natural sciences > 105 Earth and Related Environmental Sciences > Oceanography, Hydrology, Water Resources
Keywords:small reservoirs, water management, productivity, water infrastructure, agricultural landscapes, nature-based solution, West Africa
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-117268
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-117268
Additional ID:
Type of IDID
DOI10.3390/w14091440
Web of Science (WoS)000794782700001
ID Code:28151
Faculty:NJ - Fakulteten för naturresurser och jordbruksvetenskap
Department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Soil and Environment
(S) > Dept. of Soil and Environment
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:01 Jun 2022 08:27
Metadata Last Modified:06 Jun 2022 13:31

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