Assessment of Surface Water Resource and Irrigation Practices in Gudo Beret Kebele, Amhara Region, Ethiopia

No Thumbnail Available



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Addis Ababa University


Ethiopia is mainly an agrarian nation and the rainfed system has always played a central role in supporting its society. Agriculture is the core driver for Ethiopia's growth and long-term food security. Cultivable land area of the country is estimated to be between 30 - 70 million hectares. Currently, some estimates show that only 15 million hectares of land is under cultivation. From the existing cultivated area only about 4 to 5 percent is irrigated. The development of irrigation and agricultural water management thus holds significant potential to improve productivity and reduce vulnerability to climactic volatility in the country. Though Ethiopia has abundant water resources, its agricultural system does not yet fully benefit from the technologies of water management and irrigation. In mixed crop–livestock systems, irrigation can increase crop yield and livestock feed supply through increased crop productivity and residues of food–feed crops. Irrigation also serves as a buffer against drought. GISs and simulation models have contributed to the identification and evaluation of potential solutions to water resource problems during the past decade. Understanding the water resource potential of an area can help devise mechanism for efficient use and maximize benefits while minimizing potential conflicts. GIS and hydrological models can be used to understand the spatial dynamics and dynamics and distribution as well as determinants of water resources within landscape. The main objective of this research is to assess the water resources potential and examine major constraints of the present water resource management and irrigation practices in the Gudo Beret area of the North Shewa Zone of Amhara Regional State. Specific objectives include: Analysis of surface water resources, land use/cover types and irrigable area; identify the constraints of irrigation and water management practices; examine the current policy and by-laws related to irrigation water management and examine the gender and nutrition aspect of small scale irrigation practice.. Relevant spatial data were gathered from high resolution satellite image (PALADIS), soil depth base map, topographic maps and ground survey and GPSs. Non-spatial data were acquired through interview, questionnaire, written sources. Simple random sampling has been employed to select sample irrigation scheme and sample respondents. Analysis of results shows that five rivers and nine springs are available in the study area. The study also identifies six major types of land use/cover (i.e. bare land, built up, farm land, forest, grass land and water bodies). Forty percent of the farm and grass land and 29% of total area were irrigable land. The most important irrigation related constraints observed include seasonal water shortage, unavailability and less utility of technologies, limited market and absence of irrigation canal to save water loss. Local communities have good institutional by-law to govern water use and irrigation scheduling as well as conflict resolving methods. Also in the study area participation of women in irrigation farming has increased by 29.7% within ten years. This could both improve food security and income and also buffers crop failure due to drought. There is also a possibility of improvement in human and livestock nutrition as irrigation facilitates diversification. Key words: Water resources, management, irrigation, agricultural technologies, GIS, Gudo Beret



Water Resources, Management, Irrigation, Agricultural Technologies, GIS, Gudo Beret