Effects of integrated watershed management on livestock water productivity in water scarce areas in Ethiopia
In the water scarce Lenche Dima watershed in the northern Ethiopian highlands community based integrated watershed management was implemented to fight land degradation, raise agricultural productivity and improve farmers’ livelihoods. The effects of two interventions, namely exclosures and water harvesting structures, were assessed based on data from farmers’ interviews, measurements of feed biomass production, and estimates of energy production and requirements. Water used for livestock feed production was obtained through simple soil water balance modelling. By protecting 40% of the rangelands, the water productivity of the feed increased by about 20%. This indicated that exclosure establishment could lead to similar improvements in livestock water productivity (LWP, defined as the ratio of livestock benefits over the water used in producing these). Water harvesting structures ensured year-round water availability in the homestead, which resulted in less energy used for walking to drinking points. A considerable amount of energy was thus saved, which could be used for livestock production and improved animal health without additional water use. Besides restoring regulating and supporting ecosystem services, both interventions led to a more efficient use of the scarce water resources for biomass and livestock production.
- Case ID: INT-115-1
- Intervention type: Combination
- Intervention description:
Rangeland exclosures: 208 ha of degraded hillslopes were closed for grazing and equally distributed among 530 farmers in the wa- tershed. To speed up the rehabilitation of the de- graded hillslopes, contour trenches were made for improved water infiltration and various multi-purpose trees were planted at the time of closing in all protected areas.
Details about the implementation of the integrated watershed management project are presented in Liu et al. (2008).
The intervention as a whole - The community based integrated watershed management in Lenche Dima combined multidisciplinary interventions in natural resources management, livestock development, crop production, institutional strengthening and social and income generating activities. Interventions were successfully adopted thanks to the involvement of the local community in every phase of the project
- Landscape/sea scape ecosystem management:
|Climate change impacts
||Effect of Nbs on CCI
|Loss of food production
||Feed biomass production
|Reduced water availability
||Livestock water productivity (a measured that incorporates feed biomass production, evapotranspiration, metabolizable energy, feed and energy water productivity) - measures how much water is needed to produce certain feed biomass
- Approach implemented in the field:
- Specific location:
The Lenche Dima watershed 39.67–39.73 E; 1520–1890 m a.s.l.), located near Weldiya town in the Amhara region,
- Country: Ethiopia
- Habitat/Biome type: Montane/Alpine |
- Issue specific term: Community-based (general)
Integrated water resources management
- Notes on intervention effectivness: Effectiveness determined by comparing measures before intervention was established to after
Note that reduction in hay biomass was reported but authors state that "As the exclosures in the study area were still relatively young (<5 years), hay production could increase in the coming years."
Social outcomes: "Protecting hillslopes in exclosures directly resulted in restricted access to previously open-access grazing land. This led to decreased fodder availability in the first years after closure and aggravated inequity between farmers, as livestock keepers and landless people (depending more on common property than people with fields) were more adversely affected. Cut and carry of hay also costs a lot of energy for the farm- ers. "
- Is the assessment original?: Yes
- Broadtype of intervention considered:
- Compare effectivness?: No
- Compared to the non-NBS approach:
- Report greenhouse gas mitigation?: No
- Impacts on GHG:
- Assess outcomes of the intervention on natural ecosystems: Yes
- Impacts for the ecosystem:
- Ecosystem measures: anecdotal: "herbaceous and woody biomass production in exclosures recovered drastically, even after a few years"
- Assess outcomes of the intervention on people: Yes
- Impacts for people:
- People measures: "farmers’ attitude towards the intervention were derived from the group discussions and interviews
the community based approach ""built trust and confidence and empowered local farmers to take control of their own problems and solutions"" but not clear to what extent that resulted from the nbs component establishment specifically.
with the exclosures specifically, there were trade-offs 'However, farmers were not unanimously pleased with the establishment of exclosures as it reduced
the open-access grazing area'
Protecting hillslopes in exclosures directly resulted in restricted access to previously open-access grazing land. This led to decreased fodder availability
in the first years after closure and aggravated inequity between farmers, as livestock keepers and landless people (depending more on common property than people with fields) were more adversely affected.
additional social outcomes but specific to non-nbs waterharvesting structures ""aking water available in the homestead for multiple uses,
including livestock drinking, resulted in direct benefits for the individual households. The multiple water use concept and its benefits
are described at length in Van Koppen and Smits (2010). In conjunction with feeding the animals with hay harvested from exclosures, water harvesting ponds enabled famers to keep their
animals at home. """
- Considers economic costs: No
- Economic appraisal conducted: No
- Economic appraisal described:
- Economic costs of alternative considered: No
- Compared to an alternative:
- Type of data:
- Is it experimental: No
- Experimental evalution done:
- Non-experimental evalution done:
Empirical case study
- Study is systematic: