Productivity of Stored Water in Small Reservoirs for Dry Season Agriculture in the Upper East Region of Ghana

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The Upper East Region (UER) of Ghana is a water stressed area with the main occupation of the people being agriculture. The importance of small reservoirs for the sustenance of the livelihood of the people in this part of the country during the dry season cannot be over emphasized. Most of these small reservoirs were constructed, in the 1960s, mainly with the aim of providing water for domestic use and livestock watering during the dry periods of the year. Over the years, however, these small reservoirs have been put to a variety of uses such as irrigation and livestock watering, some of which accelerate the depletion of the stored water during the dry season, resulting in the reservoirs not being able to serve the purposes for which they were constructed. To address this situation, this study was conducted to determine the productivity of stored water in small reservoirs and to use this productivity values together with observations and interviews as a means of suggesting strategies for the improvement of water use so as to ensure water availability for the entire dry season period. Water productivity can be thought of as the output (product) that can be obtained per unit volume of water used or applied for either crop or livestock production. Data on crops and livestock were obtained through questionnaires administration, interviews, focus group discussions, physical measurements, official records as well as field observations from nine reservoirs in the UER. Results of the study showed that donkeys have the highest water productivity value of (GH¢ 290 /m3) followed by cattle (GH¢ 133 /m3). Sheep and goat both have productivity values of (GH¢ 18 /m3). Cattle and donkey have high water productivity values chiefly due to the variety of products and services they render. For crops, tomatoes have the highest productivity value of GH¢6.70 /m3 as opposed to leafy vegetables and pepper with productivity values of GH¢ 2.90 /m3 and GH¢ 1.40 /m3 respectively. Also productivity improvement strategies such as training of water user association (WUA) members, water conservation mechanisms, provision of standards for furrow formation and prevention of stored water from pollution were suggested based on the water productivities as well as physical measurements, interactions and observations made. Key words: Small Reservoir, Productivity, Stored water, Ghana
A thesis submitted to the College of Engineering in partial fulfilment of the requirements of the degree of Master of Science.