The Nile Basin Initiative Secretariat has launched the Nile Basin Water Resources Atlas. The Atlas was launched by the 2nd Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for East African Affairs, the Rt. Hon. Kirunda Kivejinja during the 24th Annual Nile Council of Ministers held on 14th July, 2016 in Entebbe, Uganda.
The Atlas provides a platform to visualize the status of Nile Basin resources, their distribution in both time and space, observed trends, vital statistics and water use and demand by the major sectors. Through the presentation of factual information and expert analyses, the Nile Basin Water Resources Atlas is expected to inform, educate and empower basin communities to exercise better stewardship of the common Nile Basin water and environmental resources.
The Nile Basin Water Resources Atlas has been packaged in seven chapters introducing the reader to the Nile Basin location, physiography, spatial and temporal variation of major climate variables and hydrology in the major sub-basins presented at selected key stations. It provides an estimate of water demands, water use by the major sectors and an overview of major hydraulic infrastructure. The Atlas also presents the current state of basin monitoring focusing on hydro-meteorological monitoring highlighting the identified gaps and what NBI has recommended as the most suitable monitoring network.
The Atlas will inform the second Edition of the State of River Nile Basin Report and together they will significantly contribute to the achievement of NBI’s goals of promoting evidence based decision making, which is a back bone for equitable benefit sharing and win-win outcomes.
Among the people targeted by the Atlas are National line ministries, project planners, power utilities, technicians, decision makers, senior government officials, policy makers, and water resources planners. Others are academicians, researchers, media and the general public.
The Nile Basin Water Resources Atlas was prepared by NBI in collaboration with technical officials from Member States and with financial and technical support from Deutsche Gesellschaft für International Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH.
Nile Basin communities are heavily dependent on exploitation of the water resources and the environment for their livelihoods. The complexity of the large number of countries (11) in the Nile Basin, combined with the uneven distribution of the water resources among these countries, population pressure, urbanization and complex hydrology of the Nile System as well as climate change, pose significant challenges for the sustainable management of the shared waters and for ascertaining where and how benefits can or should be generated and shared within the Nile Basin.