Managing New Risks of and Opportunities for the Agricultural Development of West-African Floodplains: Hydroclimatic Conditions and Implications for Rice Production

Aymar Yaovi Bossa, Jean Hounkpè, Yacouba Yira, Georges Serpantié, Bruno Lidon, Jean Louis Fusillier, Luc Olivier Sintondji, Jérôme Ebagnerin Tondoh, Bernd Diekkrüger
2020 Climate  
High rainfall events and flash flooding are becoming more frequent, leading to severe damage to crop production and water infrastructure in Burkina Faso, Western Africa. Special attention must therefore be given to the design of water control structures to ensure their flexibility and sustainability in discharging floods, while avoiding overdrainage during dry spells. This study assesses the hydroclimatic risks and implications of floodplain climate-smart rice production in southwestern Burkina
more » ... Faso in order to make informed decisions regarding floodplain development. Statistical methods (Mann-Kendall test, Sen's slope estimator, and frequency analysis) combined with rainfall-–runoff modeling (HBV model) were used to analyze the hydroclimatic conditions of the study area. Moreover, the spatial and temporal water availability for crop growth was assessed for an innovative and participatory water management technique. From 1970 to 2013, an increasing delay in the onset of the rainy season (with a decreasing pre-humid season duration) occurred, causing difficulties in predicting the onset due to the high temporal variability of rainfall in the studied region. As a result, a warming trend was observed for the past 40 years, raising questions about its negative impact on very intensive rice cultivation packages. Farmers have both positive and negative consensual perceptions of climatic hazards. The analysis of the hydrological condition of the basin through the successfully calibrated and validated hydrological HBV model indicated no significant increase in water discharge. The sowing of rice from the 10th to 30th June has been identified as optimal in order to benefit from higher surface water flows, which can be used to irrigate and meet crop water requirements during the critical flowering and grain filling phases of rice growth. Furthermore, the installation of cofferdams to increase water levels would be potentially beneficial, subject to them not hindering channel drainage during peak flow.
doi:10.3390/cli8010011 fatcat:2xusnqtnfzb7biu64annneuiha