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Ethiopia water sector: Drivers of change

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Presented by Matthew McCartney at the NBDC Stakeholder Forum, Bahir Dar, Ethiopia, 5 October 2011.

Presented by Matthew McCartney at the NBDC Stakeholder Forum, Bahir Dar, Ethiopia, 5 October 2011.

Published in: Technology, Business
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  • 1. Ethiopia: Drivers of change Matthew McCartney (IWMI) NBDC Stakeholder Forum 5 October 2011
  • 2. Current situation
    • Locally:
    • Rural poor are marginalized small holders
    • Reliant on rainfed agriculture
    • Short of land (farm size, quality and security of access)
    • Lack access to reliable water supply (and other inputs)
    • Low levels of agricultural productivity
    • Limited access to markets
    • Extremely vulnerable to hydrological variability
    • Nationally:
    • Typically 5-6 million people need food support annually
    • 39% of population (35 million) live below poverty line
    • Land degradation is excessive (1.9 Bt topsoil lost annually)
    • Low levels of hydraulic infrastructure
    • Low levels of irrigation (640 ha out of potential > 5 million)
    • Limited water resources management capacity
    • Hydrological variability costs economy 1/3 growth
    • But significant land and water resources (125 Bm 3 = 1,400 m 3 per capita) available to contribute to economic and social development
  • 3. Driver 1: Population Increase
    • Locally:
    • More mouths to feed
    • Increased fragmentation of land
    • Expansion to increasingly marginal land
    • More competition for scarce water and other NRs
    • Impedes the economic well being of households
    • Nationally:
    • Agricultural land is overcrowded and over-cultivated
    • Health infrastructure is not keeping pace with pop. growth
    • Energy demand is growing rapidly
    • Economic and social indicators are declining
    • National population policy seeks to “harmonize” the rate of population growth and the capacity of the country for development
    Population growth in Ethiopia: 3% per year
  • 4. Driver 2: Climate Change
    • Great uncertainty about impacts (especially rainfall)
    • but extremes and temporal variability will increase
    • Will affect both the supply and the demand for agricultural water
    CCLM – Nile rainfall: A1B Scenario Implications: Locally Nationally Farmers choices more difficult Area suitable for rainfed ag likely to decline Increased vulnerability Adaptation strategies needed Need to change livelihood strategies (e.g. off-farm; croppers to livestock keepers?) Investment in water infrastructure (e.g. water storage) critical
  • 5. Driver 3: Globalization World is increasingly interlinked (> integration of societies and economies) Provides opportunities as well as threats Locally: Increased demand for range of agricultural products Employment opportunities Disproportionately benefits those with assets Benefits will be greatest in areas with good infrastructure and communications Risk of increased marginalization of the poor Nationally: Greater opportunity for economic growth (induced by greater openess) Niche overseas markets (e.g. for teff/coffee/flowers) Higher risks associated with fluctuations in global financial systems Risk of domestic markets being flooded with world market commodities Foreign Direct Investment in land (and water). Oromia Area (ha) Nos. of projects Domestic 149,148 2,750 Foreign 1,444,308 1,001
  • 6. Conclusions Many things are changing simultaneously. Complexity of managing water resources in a sustainable manner is increasing rapidly. Drivers and uncertainties outside the water sector have more influence than decisions made by “water managers”. Those outside the water sector must think about water, but this means increased awareness of water issues and their importance. Water is generally not high on the political agenda. Water development has massive potential to contribute to poverty alleviation, economic development and improvement of livelihoods. Rural water development strategies must deal with diversified livelihood strategies and increased pressures and risks. More integrated “joined-up” planning Informed decisions need information. A lot of uncertainty/mistakes arise from poor understanding and lack of data/information. SCIENCE IS NEEDED TO UNDERPIN GOOD DECISION MAKING “ Our foot is stuck on the accelerator and we are heading towards an abyss ” Ban Ki Moon
  • 7. Need for water storage
    • Calculated from indices based on:
    • poverty levels,
    • water availability,
    • climate variability,
    • use (rainfed systems and
    • livestock systems)
    Facilitates targeting of effort
  • 8. Thank you

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