Irrigation Water Management in Small Scale Irrigation Schemes: the Case of the Ethiopian Rift Valley Lake Basin


  • Mihret D. Ulsido School of Bio-systems and Environmental Engineering, Hawasa University, Ethiopia
  • E. Alemu Arba Minch Institute of Technology, Arba Minch, Ethiopia



Irrigation, Small scale, Water management, WUA


Appraisals of irrigation water management scenarios are crucial in project performance monitoring. A comprehensive irrigation water management study has been conducted on four small scale irrigation schemes in the Ethiopian rift valley lake basin. It is observed that from 147 irrigators 68% faced irrigation water supply unreliability, 79.1% encountered unfair distribution of water and 66 % underwent through timeliness problem in water distribution occasionally. All the investigated schemes witnessed a weak (50 % of all scheme users noted poor) organization of irrigation scheme administration. The Water Users Associations (WUAs) lack clear laws/by-laws and strategies to lead small or major canal operations and maintenances. Without a strong WUA it is impossible to think of filling farmer’s skill gap, to have a working maintenance strategy, fair distribution of irrigation water, reliable irrigation water supply and timely delivery of irrigation water.


Author Biographies

Mihret D. Ulsido, School of Bio-systems and Environmental Engineering, Hawasa University, Ethiopia

Assistant Professor and researcher in the School of Bio-systems and Environmental Engineering, Hawassa University,Ethiopia.Currently the author is a PhD candidate at Wuhan University of Technology, School of Civil Engineering and Architecture. Previous education:M.Sc. in Water Resources Engineering from Vrije Universiteit Brussels, Faculty of Engineering Sciences, The Department of Hydrology and Hydraulic Engineering, Brussels, Belgium and M.Sc. in Resources Engineering from Universität Karlsruhe (TH), Faculty of Civil Engineering, Geo- and Environmental Sciences, Karlsruhe, Germany. Bachelor in Hawassa University, Institute of Technology, Agricultural Engineering and Mechanization Department.

E. Alemu, Arba Minch Institute of Technology, Arba Minch, Ethiopia

PhD candidate. Reasearch area: integrated river basin management (water resources development, water resources management and irrigation), Irrigation System analysis (technical, social, environmental and economical issues), Water resources engineering and management