|dc.description.abstract||The Government of Zimbabwe embarked on construction of small, medium and large
multiple-use dams as a strategy to increase the level of water security in the country.
Over 10,000 dams have been constructed in communal and large-scale-commercial
farming areas. So far, the socio-economic contributions made by medium-to-large scale
dams have been fairly documented, but those by small reservoirs are scantily
documented. A study on total water productivity was conducted to determine total water
productivity and apply this to value and allocate scarce water resources to uses that
optimise societal benefits in semi-arid areas. Water productivity gives the value of a
product that can be obtained from using a unit amount of water on alternative functions
such as domestic use, livestock watering, crop production, fishery, brick making and
related uses so that the resources can be wisely allocated to more productive sectors.
Eight small reservoirs surrounding Avoca Business Centre in Mzingwane Catchment,
Zimbabwe, were studied. Questionnaires were administered and physical measurements
carried out on crops, livestock, thatching grass, bricks and fisheries. The results were that
donkeys had the highest monetary water productivity of 145 US$/m3 followed by bricks
and cattle(32 US$/m3), tomatoes (24 US$/m3), sheep and goats(11 US$/m3), small
vegetables (8 US$/m3), green maize(2 US$/m3), dry beans (0.9 US$/m3), fish (0.7
US$/m3), wheat (0.2 US$/m3), domestic water use (0.03 US$/m3) and grass (0.02
US$/m3). Formulation of an allocative strategy recognised scarcity of water resources in
terms of dry season reservoir yield, individual-use water productivities and societal
values. Two paths for increasing productivity per unit of utilizable water resources were
considered for the strategy; (i) depleting developed primary water supply for beneficial
purposes by increasing water savings and (ii) producing more output per unit of depleted
water by increasing unit water productivity. By re-allocating water based on water
productivities within and across sectors, income levels were increased by about 350%
from current uses. The results of the study illustrated that water productivity can be used
as a strategy for allocating scarce water resources for attaining optimum societal benefits.
The water productivity strategy, however, should be complimented with wide stakeholder
consultations to derive the optimum societal benefits.
Key words: Integrated water resources management; Livelihood; Multiple-use; Small
reservoirs; Water productivity; Mzingwane Catchment||en_ZW