Groundwater Irrigation Possibility In Ethiopia

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Addis Ababa University


Groundwater irrigation is an important factor to agricultural production in large parts of the world. The use of groundwater for agriculture in Ethiopia is low. Many irrigation schemes obtain water from river diversions in Ethiopia in which only farmers with land near the rivers gets profit from irrigation, while others are waiting for the rainy season rather than using groundwater for irrigation.This research investigates the possibility of ground water as complementary and/or supplemental irrigation, to increase agricultural productivity, creating food self-sufficiency, overcome the conflict between river water users and to involve farmers those waiting for rain season. Utilizing groundwater resource for irrigation purpose can be a key alternative to improve the country’s deteriorating food supply. The main objective of the study is to assess the possibility of groundwater irrigation in Ethiopia. CROPWAT 8.0 model was used to calculate reference evapotranspiration. Reference evapotranspiration and agro ecological zones were used to first classify the evapotranspiration zones of Ethiopia. This classified evapotranspiration zones were also overlaid by the countries groundwater discharge and access depth maps using the Arc GIS software. Finally, degree one suitable, degree two suitable, degree three suitable and degree four suitable groundwater irrigation was determined in this research. Accordingly, the country has in general about 197,546km , 283,917km 2 , 276,366km 2 2 area degrees one, degree two, degree three and degree four suitable regions respectively, were identified and mapped. Such a map is useful for planning groundwater resources use for irrigation in Ethiopia. This study hopefully can be used as a base for further research work in the area.



Arc Gis, Ethiopia, Groundwater Irrigation, Reference Evapotranspiration