The Nile Basin is one of the few basins of the world that has given birth to early human civilization. The Basin is as relevant to humanity today as it was in the past millennia. This said though, the Basin is facing huge challenges. While economies of most of its countries are growing, the Basin is faced with a rising population, which increases degradation of natural resources and puts pressure on economic infrastructure including water. It also increases food security concerns and leads to rural urban migration with the attendant problems of rapid urbanization.
These and more developments are one way or the other predicated on continued availability of Nile waters. But the Nile is, as it were, a very finite and fragile resource, marked by alteration of extreme events of either prolonged droughts or floods of biblical proportions. In the midst of this, the Nile is going to face growing pressure in the coming decades due to continued steady rise in the demand for water. All this requires: more – and not less – basin wide cooperation; smarter, forward looking, knowledge based and prudent basin-wide water resources management and development policies, which ultimately should result in enhanced water use efficiency and productivity across economic sectors and countries.
The Nile Basin Water Resources Atlas is one such knowledge tool developed by NBI. The Atlas makes the data and information accessible in a format that is easy, succinct and visually attractive. By providing a birdâ€™s eye view of the potentials, problems and trends in the Basin, I hope this Atlas contributes to advancing our mission of encouraging thoughtful deliberation among basin policy makers, citizens and all concerned for the future of this great River of ours – the Nile!
With best wishes
Hon. Eng Gerson Lwenge (MP)
Chairperson, Nile Council of Water Ministers (2015 – 2016)
& Minister of Water and Irrigation,
United Republic of Tanzania