Dear Esteemed Reader, I am most delighted to welcome you to the first Nile Basin Water Resources Atlas. Water resources development is vitally important for enabling the Nile Basin countries to meet their development objectives. However, interventions that are not founded on a sound understanding of the water resources potential are unsustainable. The complexity of the large number of countries sharing the Nile Basin, combined with the uneven distribution of the water resources among these countries, population pressure and urbanisation pose significant challenges for sustainable management and development of the shared resource. Coupled with these is the complex hydrology of the Nile system as well as climate change.
In order to develop the Nile Basin resources to address urgent social and economic needs of the basin communities while ensuring equitable utilisation and benefit from the common resource, decision makers need well synthesized and factual information to enable them make evidence based decisions. As part of the Water Resources Management function of the Nile Basin Initiative, and in line with its overarching goal of fostering evidence-based water resources management and development, NBI has prepared a Water Resources Atlas for the Nile Basin. The Atlas presents well synthesized and interpreted information with a special focus on spatial and temporal distribution of the resources within the Basin. Together with the State of Basin Report, the Atlas will also be used as a basin monitoring tool.
The 200-page document is delivered in seven chapters presenting the physiography of the Basin, socio economic profiles of Nile Basin countries, water availability in terms of climate and hydrology as well as water demand and use infrastructure. The Atlas is expected to enlighten ongoing deliberations on Nile issues among policy makers, senior government officials, water resources officers, academia and the general public on broad basin issues.
The Nile Basin Water Resources Atlas is part of NBI’s sustained efforts to build trust and confidence among Member States and to nurture a conducive environment for cooperative management and development of the shared water and related resources, through provision of factual and impartial knowledge and information. It is therefore my hope that you will find it a very useful document. I take this opportunity to thank the staff of NBI as well as members of the Regional Working Group who have tremendously contributed towards the successful preparation of this key knowledge product.
Finally, I extend my gratitude to Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) for their immeasurable technical and financial support towards the preparation of this inaugural Water Resources Atlas for the Nile Basin.
I wish you an enjoyable reading.
John Rao Nyaoro, HSC (PhD)
Nile Basin Initiative (2014 – 2016)