International Journal of Oceanography & Aquaculture (IJOAC)

ISSN: 2577-4050

Research Article

Assessment of Irrigation Potential in Jewuha Watershed, Middle Awash River Basin, Ethiopia

Authors: Beza M* and Hailu H

DOI: 10.23880/ijoac-16000301


Ethiopia is endowed with immense water and land resources that could be tapped and used for irrigation development. However, little has been done so far due mainly to lack of comprehensive knowledge on the potential of these resources. This study was, therefore, taken up to assess the irrigation potential in data scarce Jewuha watershed of the Awash River Basin. To achieve the objective of the study, the suitability of the land for both surface and pressurized irrigations was estimated using a parametric evaluation technique combined with the FAO land evaluation framework in the GIS environment with multi-criteria analysis of irrigation suitability factors. The irrigation water demands of major crops adopted in the area were determined using CROPWAT software. The surface water potential at the sub watershed was estimated using a combination of SWAT model and the spatial proximity regionalization technique. The performance of the SWAT model was checked by statistical parameters. The irrigation suitability analysis reveals that 51372ha of the study area are suitable and 16274ha are unsuitable for surface irrigation system. Furthermore, 52768ha of the area are suitable and 15088ha are unsuitable for a sprinkler irrigation system. For drip irrigation, 52751ha are suitable and 14855ha are unsuitable. The calibration and validation of SWAT model showed that the model has performed well to simulate the hydrology of the watershed with a coefficient of determination (R2), Nash-Sutcliffe efficiency (NSE) and Percent of bias (PBIAS) of 0.74, 0.73 and 0.80 for calibration and 0.71, 0.70 and 7.90 for validation, respectively. From a combined analysis of the available land and water resources, the gross irrigation potential of the area is estimated to be 12,997ha, of which 3098ha of land is exclusively suitable for surface irrigation and 9,899ha is suitable for pressurized irrigation systems.

Keywords: Land suitability; SWAT; GIS; CROPWAT; Irrigation potential

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