There are approximately 928 meteorological and 423 hydrometric stations in the Nile Basin. Over 70 percent of the meteorological stations measure either just daily rainfall totals or rainfall and temperature. Most hydrometric stations measure river or lake water levels. Monitoring of water quality, sediment transport in rivers, and groundwater are at their early stages in most countries. Data transmission from the stations to central data repository in most countries is manual.
The current total number of national monitoring stations in the Nile Basin countries is well below its historical maximum. Staff and financial resources to operate and maintain the complete national network of stations are limited in all countries. Automated data transmission using modern technology is being newly introduced in many countries. In all countries the potential use of data for real-time water resources management is not realized because of a lack of telemetry and data processing and management systems.
There have been national as well as regional initiatives to improve river basin monitoring in the Nile Basin. The Nile Basin Initiative has recently completed the design of a Nile Basin regional Hydromet system. This system will comprise a set of 323 meteorological and 79 hydrometric stations, groundwater and water quality laboratory strengthening and monitoring use of remote sensing for monitoring river basin processes. The system relies on existing monitoring stations to be upgraded to meet the requirements as a regional monitoring network with few new stations added where no current monitoring stations exist. The IGAD-HYCOS is another regional initiative that has supported member countries of the IGAD to upgrade their hydrological monitoring network; some of these stations are in the Nile Basin.