Mapping Potential

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Opportunities to invest in agricultural water management (AWM) have been mapped at the state level in India, at the country level in Ethiopia, Ghana, Burkina Faso, Tanzania and Zambia, and at the regional level in Sub-Saharan Africa.

To better target AWM solutions a gender mapping tool was developed.

Introducing AWM solutions at scale will impact on gender relations and other social structure, as well as the environment. The likely implications of introducing various AWM solutions were reviewed in watersheds in four countries.

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Gender mapping

A “GenderMapper” has been developed to capture the diversity of gendered agriculture in Sub-Saharan Africa in order to better understand how to target AWM interventions to male and female farmers.Gender relations vary within a country, region and one household to another. But there are patterns that generally apply up to the sub-national level.

Gender mapping aims to:

  • Collect information from gender and farming experts,
  • Identify patterns in the gendered organization of farming systems in a particular area,
  • Classify them as male, female, dual or separately managed, or “other”; and
  • Incorporate this information into a centralized, Geographically referenced database that can be widely shared.

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Country and State Mapping

Not all AWM solutions are appropriate in all locations due to physical and socio-economic conditions. The country level mapping tried to identify where AWM in general could contribute most to improving livelihoods and increasing the irrigated area. For each project country certain promising AWM solutions were also mapped to see where they would achieve greatest impact.
The process involved compiling national data, such as physical availability of water (rainfall, surface water or shallow groundwater) and the presence of smallholder farmers, based on population density and rural poverty rates. A participatory process was used to identify “livelihoods zones” – the criteria to determine livelihood zones are the main livelihood activity (for example rice farming, vegetable farming, tea growing or livestock rearing), the wider socio-economic conditions such as access to markets, and the physical conditions (for example highlands give rise to different livelihoods than lowlands and coastal areas).

The consultations led to a better understanding about the farmers who may use the AWM options, their need for solutions, their dependence on water resources, their average land holdings and their farming methods. All of this information has been combined into maps that show where AWM options are most suitable.

Burkina Faso Ethiopia Ghana Madhya Pradesh Tanzania West Bengal Zambia


Assessing the potential for poverty reduction through investments in agricultural water management

Insecure access to water for consumption and productive uses is a major constraint for rural people in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) and India. For millions of smallholder farmers, fishers and herders in SSA, water is one of the most important production assets, and securing…


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Regional Mapping

To scale these solutions up across Africa and India it is important to know where they have potential. The regional mapping considered a selection of the solutions that were applicable beyond the study countries. The mapping combined geographic (GIS) data analysis, biophysical and economic predictive modeling and crop mix optimization tools.

The results of the modeling show where AWM options could be introduced, how many people could benefit and net revenue, under a number of scenarios.

Motor Pumps SSA Motor Pumps SA Treadle Pumps SSA River Diversions SSA Inland Valleys SSA Small Reservoirs SSA Electrification SA Ex-Situ WH SA In-Situ WH SSA

Watershed Assessments

AWM interventions can undermine existing or alternative water uses and can reduce the water available for ecosystems. Watershed assessments were carried out in four countries to create a baseline on livelihoods, hydrology and institutional arrangements.

Stakeholder consultations were held to develop scenarios around AWM interventions to review the likely impact on livelihoods and water resource. The scenarios considered the implications for equity, gender, poverty reduction, water quality, water quantity and other natural resources.

English Version

Burkina Faso West Bengal Tanzania Zambia

French Version

Burkina Faso


AWM Solutions Livelihoods Maps


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