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University of Ottawa (1993)

A management planning model for the Senegal River Basin

Venema, Henry David

Titre : A management planning model for the Senegal River Basin

Auteur : Venema, Henry David

Etablissement de soutenance : University of Ottawa

Grade : M.A.Sc.Thesis (M.A.Sc.)— 1993

The Senegal River Basin (SRB), located in the Sahel region of West Africa is undergoing fundamental environmental, hydrologic and socio-economic transitions simultaneously. The tri-nation (Senegal, Mauritania and Mali) river basin development authority, the Organisation pour la Mise en Valeur du Fleuve Senegal (OMVS) is attempting to execute a shift to irrigated rice production in the river basin for domestic consumption, to ease the severe foreign exchange shortfalls these riparian nations face. Compounding the severe effects of the drought on the river basin ecology is the negative impact of the state imposed agricultural policy of rice production. Rice production in the arid river valley has been a financial and social failure. This study postulates an alternative utilization of the scarce water resources in the basin. The water demand pattern for an alternative natural resources management focused agricultural development policy is based on the irrigation water requirements of well-researched village-scale irrigation projects in the SRB, and intensive irrigated agro-forestry projects. The agro-forestry production system analyzed has the joint objectives of using irrigation to re-establish a protective, diverse and productive bio-mass cover in the desertifying river valley, and to reverse the tide of drought induced migration from rural to urban areas. A comparative river system simulation study was conducted to analyze the effects of both the rice production development policy (policy RP) and the natural resources management policy (policy NRM), on the full agricultural development potential of the SRB. Alternative hydrologic scenarios were generated for the simulation study according to the Senegal River time series analysis, for the historical level, 1970s level drought and 1980s level drought. For all hydrologic scenarios the lower over-all demand pattern exerted by policy NRM allowed a higher full development potential than for policy RP. (Abstract shortened by UMI.)


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