International Journal of Civil Engineering

, Volume 16, Issue 8, pp 929–939 | Cite as

Sefficiency of a Water Use System: The Case of Kano River Irrigation Project, Nigeria

  • Muhammad Tajuri Ahmad
  • Naim HaieEmail author
  • Haw Yen
  • Nasser A. S. Tuqan
Research paper


Northern Nigeria is part of the semi-arid region of Africa experiencing water scarcity. The ever increasing population and climate change have placed a considerable pressure on Kano River Irrigation Project (KRIP), a major water user on Kano River, the most upstream tributary of Yobe River flowing directly to Lake Chad which is an important transboundary basin in West Africa. Performance of KRIP was evaluated using meso-level of the new and innovative Sefficiency (sustainable efficiency) framework, which incorporates quantity, quality, and beneficial aspects of water use in a comprehensive and systemic manner. Two major stakeholders were contacted, namely, farmers and water managers, and their views on the value of water flows were registered through interviews. The results indicated that useful consumption relative to effective consumption of farmers is significantly lower than management, showing a higher relative consumptive impact on both KRIP and Kano River. In addition, the useful outflow per unit of useful inflow is lower according to the farmers relative to the managers. Water managers underscore the importance of pollution impacts, give relevance in allocating water to downstream users including environmental flows, and contributing to groundwater recharge, whereas farmers do not. Flawed classical efficiency in use globally gives much lower values than meso-efficiency. For proper policy analysis in KRIP, the paper recommends using meso-efficiency with technologies to derive better data and to educate farmers on the importance of pollution and return flow.


Water management and planning Irrigation management Nigeria Sefficiency (sustainable efficiency) Stakeholder participation Downstream impacts Tiga dam 



This work is partially financed by the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT) under the contract UID/ECI/04047/2013 for the Centre of Territory, Environment and Construction (CTAC). The support provided by the management of Hadejia-Jama’are River Basin Development Authority (H-JRBDA) and farmers in Kano River Irrigation Project (KRIP) especially Abdulkadir Abdulmalik and those that participated in the survey are duly acknowledged. Moreover, the authors thank the anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments.


  1. 1.
    Hamid SM, Mohamed AA, Mohamed YA (2011) Towards a performance-oriented management for large-scale irrigation systems: case study, Rahad scheme, Sudan. Irrig Drain 60(1):20–34CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Pereira LS, Cordery I, Iacovides I (2012) Improved indicators of water use performance and productivity for sustainable water conservation and saving. Agric Water Manag 108:39–51CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Kolawole A (1989) Underperformance of Nigerian irrigation systems: design faults or system mismanagement? Int J Water Resour D 5(2):125–135CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Burt CM, Clemmens AJ, Strelkoff TS, Solomon KH, Bliesner RD, Hardy LA, Howell TA, Eisenhauer DE (1997) Irrigation performance measures: efficiency and uniformity. J Irrig Drain Eng ASCE 123(6):423–442CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Keller A, Keller J, Seckler D (1996) Integrated water resource systems: theory and policy implications. Research report 3. International Irrigation Management Institute (IIMI). Colombo, Sri LankaGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Bos MG (1997) Performance indicators for irrigation and drainage. Irrig Drain Syst 11(2):119–137CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Seckler D, Molden D, Sakthivadivel R (2003) The Concept of efficiency in water-resources management and policy. In: Kijne JW, Barker R, Molden DJ (eds) Water productivity in agriculture: limits and opportunities for improvement. CAB International, pp 37–51Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Jensen M (2007) Beyond irrigation efficiency. Irrig Sci 25:233–245CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Mateos L (2008) Identifying a new paradigm for assessing irrigation system performance. Irrig Sci 27(1):25–34CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    van Halsema G, Vincent L (2012) Efficiency and productivity terms for water management: a matter of contextual relativism versus general absolutism. Agric Water Manag 108:9–15CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Lankford B (2012) Fictions, fractions, factorials and fractures: on the framing of irrigation efficiency. Agric Water Manag 108:27–38CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Haie N, Keller AA (2014) Macro, meso, and micro-efficiencies and terminologies in water resources management: a look at urban and agricultural differences. Water Int 39(1):35–48CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Ghahroodi EM, Noory H, Liaghat AM (2015) Performance evaluation study and hydrologic and productive analysis of irrigation systems at the Qazvin irrigation network (Iran). Agric Water Manag 148:189–195CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Haie N, Keller AA (2008) Effective efficiency as a tool for sustainable water resources management. J Am Water Resour Assoc 44(4):961–968CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Masseroni D, Facchi A, Gandolfi C (2016) Is soil water potential a reliable variable for irrigation scheduling in the case of Peach Orchards? Soil Sci 181:232–240CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Molden D, Sakthivadivel R (1999) Water accounting to assess use and productivity of water. Int J Water Resour Dev 15(1–2):55–71CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Perry C, Steduto P, Allen RG, Burt CM (2009) Increasing productivity in irrigated agriculture: agronomic constraints and hydrological realities. Agric Water Manag 96(11):1517–1524CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Frederiksen HD, Allen RG (2011) A common basis for analysis, evaluation and comparison of offstream water uses. Water Int 36(3):266–282CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Haie N, Keller AA (2012) Macro, meso, and micro-efficiencies in water resources management: a new framework using water balance. J Am Water Resour Assoc 48(2):235–243CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Ermini R, Ataoui R, Qeraxhiu L (2015) Performance indicators for water supply management. Water Sci Technol Water Supply 15(4):718–726CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Vilanova MRN, Magalhães FP, Balestieri JAP (2015) Performance measurement and indicators for water supply management: review and international cases. Renew Sustain Energy Rev 43:1–12CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Gain AK, Giupponi C (2015) A dynamic assessment of water scarcity risk in the Lower Brahmaputra River Basin: an integrated approach. Ecol Indic 48:120–131CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Dejen ZA, Schultz B, Hayde L (2012) Comparative irrigation performance assessment in community-managed schemes in Ethiopia. Afr J Agric Res 7(35):4956–4970Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Gomo T, Senzanje A, Mudhara M, Dhavu K (2014) Assessing the performance of smallholder irrigation and deriving best management practices in South Africa. Irrig Drain 63:419–429CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Kono S, Ounvichit T, Ishii A, Satoh M (2012) Participatory system for water management in the Toyogawa Irrigation Project, Japan. Paddy Water Environ 10:75–81CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Kuscu H, Bölüktepe FE, Demir AO (2009) Performance assessment for irrigation water management: a case study in the Karacabey irrigation scheme in Turkey. Afr J Agric Res 4(2):124–132Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Sam-Amoah LK, Gowing JW (2001) Assessing the performance of irrigation schemes with minimum data on water deliveries. Irrig Drain 50:31–39CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Jiang Y, Xu X, Huang Q, Huo Z, Huang G (2015) Assessment of irrigation performance and water productivity in irrigated areas of the middle Heihe River basin using a distributed agro-hydrological model. Agric Water Manag 147:67–81CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Singh R, Kroes JG, van Dam JC, Feddes RA (2006) Distributed ecohydrological modelling to evaluate the performance of irrigation system in Sirsa district, India: I. Current water management and its productivity. J Hydrol 329:692–713CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Bichi MH, Anyata BU (1999) Industrial waste pollution in the Kano river basin. Environ Manag Health 10(2):112–116CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Sangari DU (2007) An evaluation of water and land uses in the Kano River Project, Phase I, Kano State. J Appl Sci Environ Manag 11(2):105–111Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Jibrin JM, Abubakar SZ, Suleiman A (2008) Soil fertility status of the Kano River Irrigation Project area in the sudan savannah of Nigeria. J Appl Sci 8(4):692–696CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Tukur AI, Olofin E, Mashi SA (2013) Rate of sediment yield in the conveyance canals of Kano River Irrigation Project (Phase I) North-Western Nigeria. J Environ Earth Sci 3(12):155–162Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    Sobowale A, Ramalan AA, Mudiare OJ, Oyebode MA (2014) Groundwater recharge studies in irrigated lands in Nigeria: implications for basin sustainability. Sustain Water Qual Ecol 3–4:124–132CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Simon E (1997) Environmental impact assessment, Kano River irrigation project (Phase I) extension, Nigeria. In: Proceedings of sustainability of water resources under increasing uncertainty, April 1997, Rabat Symposium SI. IAHS Publ. no. 240, pp 185–192Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    Goes BJM (2002) Effects of river regulation on aquatic macrophyte growth and floods in the Hadejia-Nguru wetlands and flow in the Yobe River, northern Nigeria; implications for future water management. River Res Appl 18(1):81–95CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Barbier EB (2003) Upstream dams and downstream water allocation: the case of the Hadejia–Jama’are floodplain, northern Nigeria. Water Resour Res 39(11):1311CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    Swennenhuis J (2010) FAO CROPWAT 8.0. Water Resources Development and Management Service Rome, ItalyGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Goes BJM, Zabudum AN (1998) Hydrology of the Hadejia–Jama’are–Yobe River Basin 1996/7 and 1997/8. Hadejia–Nguru Wetlands Conservation Project, IUCN—The World Conservation Union, NigeriaGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    Goes BJM (2005) Pre-water audit for the Komadugu-Yobe River Basin, northern Nigeria and southern Niger. For the Komadugu-Yobe Basin Project. Report IUCN—The World Conservation Union, Federal Ministry of Water Resources and Nigerian Conservation Foundation, NigeriaGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    Sobowale A, Ramalan AA, Mudiare OJ, Oyebode MA (2015) Evaluation of chloride mass balance and recharge in agricultural lands in Nigeria. Agric Eng Int CIGR J 17(2):11–22Google Scholar
  42. 42.
    Khan D, Ejaz N, Khan T, Saeed T, Attaullah H (2015) Sustainable groundwater—a need of sustainable agriculture. Int J Civ Eng 13(3):305–320Google Scholar
  43. 43.
    Duru JO (1984) Blaney-Morin-Nigeria evapotranspiration model. J Hydrol 70:71–83CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. 44.
    Allen RG, Pereira LS, Raes D, Smith M (1998) Crop evapotranspiration: guidelines for computing crop water requirements—FAO irrigation and drainage paper 56. FAO, Rome, Italy, p 300Google Scholar
  45. 45.
    Qureshi ME, Grafton RQ, Kirby M, Hanjra MA (2011) Understanding irrigation water use efficiency at different scales for better policy reform: a case study of the Murray–Darling Basin, Australia. Water Policy 13(1):1–17CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Iran University of Science and Technology 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Muhammad Tajuri Ahmad
    • 1
    • 2
  • Naim Haie
    • 1
    • 3
    Email author
  • Haw Yen
    • 4
  • Nasser A. S. Tuqan
    • 1
  1. 1.Water Resources and Environment Division, Civil Engineering DepartmentUniversity of MinhoGuimarãesPortugal
  2. 2.Civil Engineering DepartmentKano University of Science and TechnologyWudilNigeria
  3. 3.International Water Resources Association (IWRA)ParisFrance
  4. 4.Blackland Research and Extension Center, Texas A&M Agrilife ResearchTexas A&M UniversityTempleUSA

Personalised recommendations