Stimulating Riparian Buffer on Agricultural Landscapes: A Review from Water Management and Climate Change Perspective in Ghana
The current and future states of Agriculture are challenged with limited water resource vis-à-vis global changing climate; erratic rainfall and drought potential, as well as rising temperatures causing evaporation of freshwater resources. There are equally many similar primary causes in addition to the threats outlined as they are directly linked with declining agricultural growth. Farmlands adjoined to freshwater sources (flowing stream), or constructed small-scale reservoirs are used for the purpose of irrigation on an agricultural landscape. Sedimentation, inorganic chemicals and nutrient loading from
crop/livestock fields enter run-off into these water sources posing impairment challenges to the water body and thus, water quality and reservoir capture/holding capacity reduces. Hence, the urgent need for a sustainable approach to manage water resource especially on Agricultural landscapes characterized by this subject matter. The establishment of Riparian buffer system proves to manage these exacerbated effects adequately. Riparian
is significant in environmental and natural resource management as they enhance water quality and biodiversity through its vegetative products and services in land-use systems. In a perspective, riparian buffer can be said to have a dual purpose by contributing to carbon sequestration as well as an adaptive measure in water management; to reduce rate of freshwater evaporation on Agricultural landscapes. Additional products such as food and medicinal benefits could be generated. This paper presents an archetypal Riparian buffer design suitable for replication in Ghana and other countries with emphasis on Agro-ecological gains, climate change resilience and natural resource management and conservation.