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Inventory of Water Storage Types in the Blue Nile and Volta River Basins

Published by:
Publication date
Number of Pages
Type of Publication:
Working Papers & Briefs
Focus Region:
Sub-Saharan Africa
Focus Topic:
Land / Water / Resource Management
Type of Risk:
Biological & environmental
Type of Risk Managment Option:
Risk coping
Robyn Johnston, Matthew McCartney
International Water Management Institute (IWMI)

For agriculture there is a continuum of water storage options, ranging from groundwater aquifers, soil water, natural wetlands and small ponds and tanks to large reservoirs. In any specific situation each of these has its own niche in terms of technical feasibility, socioeconomic sustainability and impact on public health and the environment. Planning storage requires not only insight into impending needs but also a good understanding of what already exists and what was, and was not, successful, in the past. This paper provides an inventory of existing and prospective water storage in the Ghanaian Volta and the Ethiopian Blue Nile basins. For both, it is believed to be the first attempt to draw together information on the full spectrum of storage types into a single document. Based on published and gray literature it provides as much quantitative data as possible, and highlights both the dearth of readily available information and the lack of integrated planning of storage in both basins. Recommendations are made for improved planning in future.