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Open AccessArticle

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

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West African Science Service Centre on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use (WASCAL), Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso
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National Water Institute, University of Abomey Calavi, Cotonou, Benin
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Applied Science and Technology Research Institute–IRSAT/CNRST, P.O. Box 7047, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso
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Institute for Research and Development—IRD-UMR GRED-UPV, 34090 Montpellier, France
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Centre for International Cooperation in Agronomic Research for Development—CIRAD-UMR G-eau, 34090 Montpellier, France
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UFR des Sciences de la Nature, Université Nangui Abrogoua, 02 BP 801 Abidjan 02, Cote D’Ivoire
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Department of Geography, University of Bonn, Meckenheimer Allee 166, 53115 Bonn, Germany
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Climate 2020, 8(1), 11; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli8010011
Received: 29 November 2019 / Revised: 30 December 2019 / Accepted: 6 January 2020 / Published: 10 January 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Agriculture for Climate Change Adaptation)
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 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. View Full-Text
Keywords: inland valley development; hydroclimatic hazard; water control structure; sustainable rice production inland valley development; hydroclimatic hazard; water control structure; sustainable rice production
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Bossa, A.Y.; Hounkpè, J.; Yira, Y.; Serpantié, G.; Lidon, B.; Fusillier, J.L.; Sintondji, L.O.; Tondoh, J.E.; Diekkrüger, B. Managing New Risks of and Opportunities for the Agricultural Development of West-African Floodplains: Hydroclimatic Conditions and Implications for Rice Production. Climate 2020, 8, 11.

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