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Key Findings from Mali Case Study 2, ‘The Identification and Selection of Appropriate Water Resource Management Technologies’

Gradually the effects of the various adaptation options were simulated. Adaptation options to overcome the water deficit in Massabla were as follows:

• The construction of 40 modern boreholes; and

• A doubling of their capacity from 8m³/day to16 m³/day.

Identification of technology used in the study zone

On the various sites, underground water is collected through boreholes, and traditional or modern wells.Modern wells and boreholes are generally meant for supplying safe drinking water to the population. However, in Massabla, the only existing borehole is used for all purposes during the period of the year when water courses and even the many traditional wells have dried up. The technology, techniques, practices and even the procedures encountered on the sites or related to the establishment and exploitation of infrastructures are described below.

Very little technology was developed to aid with the collection of surface water on the various sites of the study outside Kiban where two micro-dams were constructed on the Lambaguilé, Lambakoré, Dehara and Souralanibine lowlands.

For the better management of water, for the benefit of natural plants, dry-farming, supplying water-beds, and soil erosion control, the following practices are measures for adapting water resources to climate changes:

• Draught farming with ridges that are perpendicular to the highest slope of the land;

• The use of organic manure and crop varieties selected according to their resistance to drought, their place in the farming cycle and the nature of the soil;

• Agro-forestry practiced in the Diouna zone; and

• The localized use of chemical and organic fertilizers in Diouna.

Technology used for adapting water resources to climate change

The technology identified on the sites is generally conventional. However, the use of this technology, in particular in rural areas of Mali, caused some difficulties ranging from high costs to the problems of maintaining the pumps. To collect underground water, boreholes, wells and cistern tanks were thought to be the best choice.

To collect surface water resources, a large range of technology is available. The ones that are deemed the most appropriate with regard to adaptation to climate change and in the socio-economic, cultural, and environmental context of our study zones in particular, and in Mali in general are outlined below.

Proposals for the most appropriate new technologies on the sites of the study zone.

Technological proposals for drinking water supply

In addition to proposals by the Malian administration, this project makes new proposals with a view to supplementing and/or strengthening these choices or making them more accessible to users in terms of cost investment for ownership and sustainability:

• Introduction and research on adaptation of low-cost drilling technology (manual or mechanical);

• Introduction and research on adaptation of low cost water raising systems mainly:

• Nicaraguan type rope-pump (man-, animal- or wind-powered or with high output moto-pump); or

• PVC pump (Flexi MAS Nicaragua type).

• With the prospect of climate change in line with the proposed climate scenario for Mali, a special emphasis should be placed on the introduction, research on adaptation, and dissemination of man-powered pumps for deep and very deep boreholes mainly:

India Mark II (80m to 90m), Busch Pump Zimbabwe (80m to 90m), Afridev with Bottom (80m to 90m).

Agriculture and irrigation

Three main sources of water are available for irrigation in Mali: perennial surface water; nonperennial surface water; and shallow underground water. In our study sites, efforts were made to mobilize the only sources of water available for irrigation i.e. non-perennial surface water and/or shallow underground water (down to 10m for cereal crops and 20m for market-garden crops). For that purpose, it was suggested:

• The introduction and use of manual drills jointly with shallow water pedal pumps (4m to 7m) of improved Bangladesh types (ANIP), and with low irrigation cost and low water pumps (Californian Network, Pepsi Drip, Nica Drip, Easy Drip etc.) in Kiban and Massabla;

• Further study of water resources and water-raising devices suitable for irrigation in the physical, socio-economic and cultural environment in Diouna where water beds are at an average depth of 32m and surface flows are non-existent is necessary.

Technological proposals to be tested for their socio-economic viability would be:

• Natural ponds to be deepened or artificial ponds to be built for irrigation and other practices such as fish-breeding, supplying livestock with water, feeding waterbeds etc;

• Drilling technology (manual or mechanical) together with low cost water-raising systems (Nicaraguan type rope-pump with appropriate traction systems, PVC pump etc.).

Technology would also be introduced and/or intensified to allow for optimizing water availability for dry-farming and for feeding waterbeds, previously identified on the study sites or identified from relevant experiences worldwide (lowlands and/or watershed area management schemes, water and soil conservation management schemes, organic manure, farming techniques and technical itineraries, variety selection etc.).


For livestock, water supply needs to be ensured. In Kiban and Massabla this would be from ponds and small dams. In Diouna, the deepening of ponds is the only water harnessing technology possible, provided that the socio-economic feasibility is proven. That could be done jointly with water and soil conservation technologies to ensure their sustainability. However, the overgrazing and overexploitation of underground water that can be harmful to the environment needs to be avoided. Therefore the following technology is recommended:

• Deep boreholes with low cost technology;

• Man-powered pumps for deep and very deep boreholes; and

• Nicaraguan type-rope pumps depending on the environment.

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