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Prospects for agricultural water management
Poor operation and maintenance of irrigation infrastructures, results in deterioration of water delivery and low performances in already ageing irrigation schemes. In addition, enforcement of water legislation is weak, institutionsâ€™ mandates are overlapping, irrigators do not participate in decision-making, and lack of extension services leads to poor on-farm water management practices. As a result, development of irrigated agriculture in the country has been very slow and behind planned development.
The 1995 National Water Resources Master Plan (NWRMP) planned an additional 800 000 ha equipped for irrigation by 2020 to bring the total area equipped for irrigation at 1 500 000 ha, of which 1 120 000 ha public irrigation and 380 000 ha private irrigation. The new irrigation development plan of the updated 2014 NWRMP revised these targets with 468 752 ha of public irrigation and 335 000 ha of private irrigation, i.e. a total of 803 752 ha equipped for irrigation by 2030 (FMWR, 2014).
Achievement of these targets should first take advantage of the already existing infrastructures, both dams and irrigation schemes. Some storage dams, such as Dadin Kowa dam for example, are still in good condition, but nonetheless abandoned (WB, 2014). This is also the case for some irrigation schemes where the actually irrigated areas are far less than the developed area. The objective in 2013 is to increase the then 32 percent of equipped area actually irrigated under River Basin Development Authorities (RBDAs) management, and 55 percent under State government management, to 70 percent and 80 percent respectively by 2017 (AfDB, 2013b). However, in most cases dams and irrigation schemes require rehabilitation that would increase the water storage capacity and irrigation performances. New water storage infrastructures are also considered to allow for the planned irrigation targets.
The projected water demand by 2030 for agriculture, industries and municipalities is 16 584 million mÂ³, of which for municipalities 8 852 million mÂ³ (53 percent), for irrigation 6 245 million mÂ³ (38 percent), for aquaculture 1 166 million mÂ³ (7 percent) and for livestock 321 million mÂ³ (2 percent). Almost half of this demand could be supplied by groundwater resources, while the remaining would be by surface water resources (FMWR, 2014).