The assessment of benefits from water by applying the concepts of water productivity is gaining momentum for managing water resources in river basins. A number of institutions have been in the forefront of spearheading the concept. The attractiveness of the water productivity concept is partly due to its diversified nature in looking at benefits of water use, both intended and unintended in a particular system. The benefits may include area irrigated, number of families depending on a particular source of water, number of jobs created as a result of presence of water. This paper explores water productivity indicators and their implications for allocating water drawing the example from the Great Ruaha River Basin. In addition to the primary and secondary indicators of productivity, the paper develops the concept of tertiary indicators (labelled ‘specific hydrovalue’) to express the economic benefits gained per person per cubic metre of water used. The paper concludes that water productivity indicators (WPIs) can be used as a tool for analysing the tradeoffs and prioritising of water use and allocation in competing and non-competing water uses but that much more conceptual and computational analysis is required.
Paper Presented at Ruaha+10 Seminar, 11 & 12 December 2003, Morogoro, Tanzania. 8 pp. (paper) + 3 pp. (powerpoint)