Water Balance Study and Irrigation Strategies for Sustainable Management of a Tropical Ethiopian Lake: A Case Study of Lake Alemaya
2011 (English)In: Water resources management, ISSN 0920-4741, E-ISSN 1573-1650, Vol. 25, no 9, 2081-2107 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Lake Alemaya in the Ethiopian Highlands has historically provided the surrounding area with water for domestic use, irrigation, and livestock and has served as a local fishery tank. Increasing irrigation and domestic water use, change in the local climate and changes in the surrounding land cover are believed to be the causes of Lake Alemaya's demise. Expansion of major irrigated crops in particular chat (Catha Edulis), potato and vegetables and non-judicious use of irrigation water in the Lake Alemaya watershed led to presumption that irrigation is partly responsible for the withdrawal of large quantity of water from the lake. Thus, water balance study of Lake Alemaya was carried out under presumed scenarios in order to study the possible trends and fluctuations of the lake water level in response to proposed scenarios. Further, it is essential to study the irrigation performance for developing optimal irrigation schedules in the study area to make the best use of available water for long term sustainability of the water resources of Lake Alemaya. It was identified that expansion of the irrigated area in general and chat cultivation in particular in the study area have been the key to sustainable management of lake water, hence its expansion during the past 37 years (1965-2002) was studied through interpretation of satellite data. Subsequently, performance evaluation of the small-scale irrigation practices for major irrigated crops was carried out. Optimal irrigation schedules for different crop seasons were also developed for these irrigated crops using CROPWAT software. It was found that chat area increased from 190 ha in 1996 to nearly 330 ha in 2002. Further, it was observed that 43% surface area of the lake has reduced within a span of 37 years. Overall, maximum irrigation intensity of chat, potato and vegetables is observed during the first irrigation season of the crop calendar. Particularly, in case of chat, irrigation performance indicators such as Relative Water Supply (RWS), Relative Irrigation Supply (RIS), Depleted Fraction (DF) and Overall Consumed Ratio (OCR) values indicated poor performance of irrigation practices. From the analysis, it was found that the application of a fixed irrigation depth and fixed irrigation interval combinations of (25 mm-25 day), (20 mm-20 day), or (20 mm-25 day) are recommended for chat in the study area. Optimal irrigation schedules were decided on the basis of combination of irrigation interval and depth that results in low loss of irrigation water with reasonable yield reduction. Thus, determination of appropriate water management strategy can ensure proper utilization of the available water resources and improve the water application efficiency of the small-scale irrigation practices around Lake Alemaya, Ethiopia.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 25, no 9, 2081-2107 p.
Lake water balance, Irrigation performance, Scheduling, Chat, Lake Alemaya, Ethiopia
Oceanography, Hydrology, Water Resources
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-80319DOI: 10.1007/s11269-011-9797-yISI: 000292558200002OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-80319DiVA: diva2:496222
QC 201202102012-02-092012-02-092012-02-10Bibliographically approved