Based on a study in three agro-pastoral dams in Nikki, Sakabansi and Fombawi in northern Benin, this article aims to characterize their physical, chemical and microbiological water quality. The ecosystem services framework underlies this article. Water of the three dams was sampled in the field and analysed at the laboratory. Means of variables were compared with standard values (norms) for drinking water set by both Benin and the World Health Organization. Agro-pastoral dams' water quality is problematic because of the significantly high levels of nitrite, nitrate, iron, and chemical oxygen demand. Water in these dams is unsuitable for both human and livestock consumption because it is contaminated with harmful bacteria including total Coliform, Escherichia coli, spores of Clostridium, Enterococcus feacalis, Salmonella typhi, Salmonella typhimurium, Salmonella enteritidis and Campylobacter jejuni. This study concluded that one solution for maintaining agro-pastoral ecosystem health consisted of watershed management based on monitoring ecosystem services such as water quality.

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