About nine years ago, a meeting between the Nile Basin Initiative (NBI) Secretariat and the Nile Technical Advisory Committee (Nile-TAC) members focused on identifying issues of availability, use, and vulnerability of the shared water resources of the Nile River Basin.
A preliminary analysis was done and the results were presented to the Nile Council of Ministers (Nile-COM) two years later in Dodoma in 2015. As part of the assignments handed to the Secretariat, Nile-COM directed NBI to "carry out assessment of the current and future demands in the Nile Basin as part of its analytical work."
This directive sharpened the NBI's focus on the Strategic Water Resources Analysis (SWRA), one of whose specific objectives was to explore the options of meeting the water demands of the Nile Basin countries in the 2030 and 2050 time horizons.
On May 15-16, 2022, the NBI Secretariat convened senior government officials and heads of Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and other stakeholders in a workshop to validate the data and information in the research outcomes of the Strategic Water Resources Analysis. These included the Intergovernmental Authority on Development Secretariat (IGAD), Lake Victoria Basin Commission (LVBC), East African Power (EAP), GIZ and NBI implementing offices Nile Equatorial Lakes Subsidiary Action Programme Coordination Unit (NELSAP-CU) and Eastern Nile Technical Regional Office (ENTRO).
The objectives of the workshop were to attain a common understanding and agreement on the scenario definitions, assumptions and results/implications and also to agree on the draft main messages from the SWRA synthesis to be taken forward into the draft final report.
In his presentation, Consultant on the research findings, Dr Hubert Lohr, highlighted the different scenarios for bridging the water gap between supply and demand to ensure sustainable availability of water to meet the needs of the basin population.
"The trade-off between irrigation versus hydropower is valid everywhere. It is less sensitive in water-rich countries and highly sensitive in regions with a dry climate. However, even water-rich countries can face a highly sensitive trade-off if consumptive demand reaches high water stress levels," Dr Lohr, reflected on the study.
The Strategic Water Resources Analysis reveals potential opportunities for irrigation and hydropower development in the Nile Basin.