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Article

Rainwater Harvesting Techniques to Face Water Scarcity in African Drylands: Hydrological Efficiency Assessment

1
DIATI, Politecnico di Torino, 10129 Torino, Italy
2
Environmental and Water Engineering Group, Department of Civil Engineering, Universidade da Coruña, 15071 A Coruña, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2020, 12(9), 2646; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12092646
Received: 7 August 2020 / Revised: 9 September 2020 / Accepted: 16 September 2020 / Published: 22 September 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water and Irrigation Management in Arid and Semiarid Zones)
The sub-Saharan climate is experiencing a marked increase in temperature and intensification of precipitation intensity and variability. Besides, longer dry spells are compromising the reliability of local agricultural practices. The present study provides a comprehensive investigation about the benefits induced by using indigenous rainwater harvesting techniques (RWHT) against hydrometeorological threats affecting the Sahelian areas. Different RWHT have been tested in term of runoff retention, infiltration increase into the root zone, and soil water stress mitigation. To achieve these purposes, hydrological processes at the field scale have been investigated using a two-dimensional distributed hydrological model. To make the study representative of the whole Sahelian areas, several simulations were carried out adopting a wide range of input parameters based on conventional values of those areas. The results reveal that RWHT may lead to a runoff retention up to 87% and to double the infiltration. Intercepting and storing runoff, RWHT increase the water content in the root zone and the right design can diminish the crop water stress. Furthermore, the results show that adopting RWHT makes it possible to extend the growing season up to 20 days, enhancing the yield. These benefits contribute to the reduction of the climate-related water stress and the prevention of crop failure. View Full-Text
Keywords: climate-smart agriculture; sustainable land and water management; rainwater harvesting techniques; hydrological modeling; water balance; crop water stress; Sahel climate-smart agriculture; sustainable land and water management; rainwater harvesting techniques; hydrological modeling; water balance; crop water stress; Sahel
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MDPI and ACS Style

Tamagnone, P.; Cea, L.; Comino, E.; Rosso, M. Rainwater Harvesting Techniques to Face Water Scarcity in African Drylands: Hydrological Efficiency Assessment. Water 2020, 12, 2646. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12092646

AMA Style

Tamagnone P, Cea L, Comino E, Rosso M. Rainwater Harvesting Techniques to Face Water Scarcity in African Drylands: Hydrological Efficiency Assessment. Water. 2020; 12(9):2646. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12092646

Chicago/Turabian Style

Tamagnone, Paolo, Luis Cea, Elena Comino, and Maurizio Rosso. 2020. "Rainwater Harvesting Techniques to Face Water Scarcity in African Drylands: Hydrological Efficiency Assessment" Water 12, no. 9: 2646. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12092646

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