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

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
  • 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.

publication date

  • 2013
  • 2013
  • 2013