Mainstreaming Groundwater Considerations into the Integrated Management of the Nile River Basin
The role that groundwater plays in surface water systems (rivers, wetlands, lakes) has not been adequately considered in most transboundary river basin management initiatives, including the Nile basin, supported by the GEF and other donors. Groundwater supports perennial water supply to many wetlands and stream base flow, which is critical for providing refuge for fauna and maintaining biodiversity. In addition, large wetland areas, such as the Sudd swamp in Sudan, are an important component in the local/regional atmospheric water cycle.
In the context of the Nile, the Sudd swamps presently considered to be fed by river water and therefore a source of large evaporative water losses. However, recent studies indicate that swamps in the Nile basin may in fact be fed by groundwater. Evaporation from the swamps may, therefore, play a less important role in the water budget of the rivers and lakes. Yet, evaporation from larger swamps such as the Sudd may be a significant source of moisture for regional precipitation such as in the Ethiopian Highlands. Substantial changes in wetland surface area may also impact the atmospheric water cycle and precipitation regime as a result of changes in soil wetness and land-atmosphere interactions.
Thus, information about the role of groundwater, in particular its contribution to water balances in lakes, rivers, and wetlands is crucial for determining equitable and appropriate water allocations and water resource management strategies. The development objective of the project is to provide the scientific basis and necessary institutional and policy support for incorporating a groundwater dimension into planning and management of the Nile basin ecosystem as an essential component of sustainable development of the Nile Basin.
In support of the development objective there are four immediate objectives:
|Sub-Region:||Eastern Africa, Middle Africa, Northern Africa|
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|Project Status||Project Completion|
Jul 02, 2007 12:00
Dec 30, 2011 12:00
|Focal Area||International Waters|
|GEF Allocation to project||1.00M US$|
|Total Cost of the project:||3.89M US$|
|Countries:||Ethiopia, Egypt, Congo, Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Sudan, Uganda, Tanzania United Republic of|
|Lead Implementing Agency||United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)|