Abstract for:Riparian water disputes in the Volta Basin, due to new irrigation practices in Burkina Faso?

Water is one of the most critical element in agriculture. In dry, sub-humid and semi-arid regions the issue of water scarcity is becoming more urgent. Water scarcity can lead to tensions between the riparian countries, that are all aiming to make use of the basin’s water supply. In this article, a study is presented investigating the possibility for increasing small reservoir irrigation in Burkina Faso upstream, while not harming the hydropower downstream in Burkina Faso. The aim of the research is to analyze strategies for both riparian countries (Ghana and Burkina Faso) to have mutual benefit in basin use. With a system dynamics approach the highly dynamic character of a water basin could be shown. By representing the rivers as stocks with flows in between the major water streams in the Volta Basin could be modelled. Overall, it can be concluded that a monitored increase in small reservoirs is possible in combination with a slight decrease in hydropower. However, both countries should be favoring this approach. If the relations between both countries are not good, a population decrease could occur due to hostile measures of Ghana’s authorities