Project: Water and Land Resource Center (WLRC)
Project Fund: Swiss Development Cooperation (SDC)
Project Implementing Organization: WLRC, BOA/Amhara and Oromia/, ARARI, OARI
Partners: MOA, MoWE, MoST, MoFED, NBI/Eastern Nile Technical Regional Office (ENTRO), AAU, EIAR, ARARI, OARI, HLIs.
Project Duration: Phase I (April 2011–March 2013), Phase II (April 2013–December 2015), Phase III (January 2016 – December 2018)
The project concerns in generating information and tools for the purpose of transboundary negotiations and decision making on water management in the Blue Nile/Eastern Nile Basin in Ethiopia. It is believed that cross-sectoral and cross-scale knowledge generation and dissemination are essential preconditions for integrated regional management of water resources and resulting sustainable use of water and land. The project is designed to systematically collect, integrate, and share data that are otherwise highly fragmented, incomplete, or not available at all for sustainable use and management of land and water resources. The project overall goal is to help improve water and land governance, and to inform national/international planning and decision making based on better data, knowledge sharing, and tools developed for policy and practice. The project will provide user-friendly access to reliable data, information, and knowledge on water, land, and socio-economic conditions. The information will be monitored, collected, and updated by several observatories and learning watersheds.
Project outputs will be targeted mainly at key stakeholders dealing with these issues in the Ethiopian Highlands, in particular the Upper Eastern Nile and regional bodies such as the Nile Basin Initiative (NBI), and Eastern Nile Technical Regional Office (ENTRO). The WLRCs will serve as national knowledge hubs with national, regional/transboundary, and international outreach mandates to provide relevant decision-makers and planners with the information they need to improve water and land management/governance and to facilitate transboundary negotiations.
The ultimate beneficiaries of the WLRCs will be those living in the Blue Nile/Eastern Nile in Ethiopia – especially land users, smallholders, and the rural poor. They should directly profit from better water and land governance/management and more secure environmental services.
In Phase I of the project (April 2011–March 2013), the project establish learning watersheds, re-establish observatories, conduct base line survey, and establish information system. At this phase, it aims to generate knowledge and tools on sustainable land and water management. In Phase II (April 2013–December 2015), activities are planned to consolidate the center and scale up corresponding approaches and tools to the national and regional/transboundary level. These includes, collection, synthesis and document field and watershed level data on hydro-sedimentology and on IWLRM; investigate the hydro-sedimentology, land degradation, land cover and land use of the Upper Eastern Nile Basin; WALRIS upgraded and promoted to serve as knowledge platform, and up-scaling of best practices.
In Phase III (January 2016 – December 2018) of the Water and Land Resource Centre (WLRC) Project will be carried out in national and transnational river basins in Ethiopia/Eastern Nile and East Africa. Specifically, the Eastern Nile tributaries including the Abbay (Blue Nile), all major river basins of Kenya, and the Pangani/Umba Basin in Tanzania. All these transboundary basins face multiple environmental, social, and economic challenges, which have a considerable impact on hydro-political relations both within and beyond the respective countries. To support hydro-political negotiations and decision-making, it is therefore crucial to have evidence-based information and knowledge – as well as powerful products for policy and practice – about water and land management and governance in the various basins. All efforts done in Phase I and Phase II will be further continued and strengthened in Phase III.
There are four major outcomes in Phase III;
Outcome 1: Knowledge on hydro-sedimentology, climatology, and Integrated Water and Land Resources Management (IWLRM) is generated using an enhanced network of observatories, learning watersheds, and specialized studies in the Upper-Eastern Nile Basin and Ethiopian Highlands; a time-series database created, spatially explicit knowledge products produced and managed thereby decision making and negotiations are better informed
Outcome 2: An Investment for Watershed Services (IWS) scheme for Abbay Basin is designed and technical backstopping for its implementation (including scientific monitoring) provided, to ensure sustainable use of downstream water storage structures in the three countries.
Outcome 3: Capacity of WLRC and key national/regional stakeholders are developed, and partnerships with national/regional actors working on hydro-sedimentology, climatology, and IWLRM are strengthened, to enable effective management and governance of water and land resources in Upper Eastern Nile Basin.
Outcome 4: The WLRC in Ethiopia is institutionally consolidated and anchored.
Contact: Dr. Gete Zeleke