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Reclaiming depleted Nile water for life and livelihoods


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Poster by D. Peden, S. Awulachew, M. Alemayehu, T. Amede, H. Faki, A. Haileslassie, J. Gitau, M. Herrero, D. Mpairwe, and P. van Breugel. This poster was prepared for the Tenth Anniversary of the Nile Basin Initiative, 6-8 November 2009, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

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Reclaiming depleted Nile water for life and livelihoods

  1. 1. FU Berlin Nile Basin Livestock Water Productivity Reclaiming Depleted Nile Water for Life and Livelihoods D. Peden1, S. Awulachew3, M. Alemayehu2, T. Amede1&3, H. Faki4, A. Haileslassie1, J. Gitau1, M. Herrero1, D. Mpairwe5, P. van Breugel1 1 International Livestock Research Institute; 2 Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research, Ethiopia; 3 International Water Management Institute; 4Agricultural Economics and Policy Research Center, ARC, Sudan; 5 Animal Science Department, Makerere University, Uganda Six Rainfed Livestock Production Systems: 800 Six Major Livestock Production • Cover about 60% of the area of the Nile River Basin. 600 Systems in the Nile River Basin (Locations and Description) • Are home to about 50% of the Nile’s peoples. 400 200 Arid Arid • Receive about 85% of the Nile’s rainfall of about 2 trillion m3/year. Livestock Mixed crop 0 dominated Humid livestock Humid • Lose about 75% of basin rainfall as evapotranspiration. Area (1000 km2) systems systems Temperate Temperate • Support almost 90% of the Nile’s Tropical Livestock units (TLU) (One TLU = 250 kg live animal weight). 40 • Use about 60 billion m3 of water to produce forages, pasture and crop 30 residues for animal feed. 20 • Currently expose people to widespread and needless poverty, hunger 10 Egypt and land and water degradation. 0 Human population (millions) Opportunity to increase access to and benefits from rainwater for people and nature: 30 • Billions of cubic meters of water are potentially available for increased Sudan 20 agricultural production and ecosystem services by converting excessive evaporation (E) to transpiration (T) and increasing water 10 productivity. 0 • Vegetative rehabilitation of the six livestock production systems is key. Cattle, Sheep and Goat TLU (millions) • Increasing water productivity requires better access to livelihood Ethiopia assets, improved crop and livestock husbandry and health, access to 30 Total = 59 billion m3 markets, value added production, and land and water conservation. DR Congo • Capacity building, institutional development, multi-stakeholder 20 Uganda participation are essential. 10 Kenya Rwanda 0 Burundi Case example Water use for feed by cattle, sheep and goats (billion m3/year) Tanzania • Challenge Program on Water and Food research in Ethiopia, Sudan and Uganda confirms that higher environmentally sustainable levels of crop and animal production are possible without increasing water depletion. 600 Total = 1,680 billion m3 600 Total = 1,272 billion m3 • Project research indicates that proactive integration of planning, 400 400 investment and management of livestock and water development increases investment returns. 200 200 • Makerere University’s Animal Science Department provides an example 0 0 of the effect of converting evaporation to transpiration (Photos 1-4). Estimated annual rainfall (billion m3) Estimated actual annual ET (billion m3) BEFORE: Degraded system & Lower transpiration AFTER: Rehabilitated system & higher transpiration Photos 1 & 2: A degraded livestock production system in Uganda’s Cattle Corridor. Photos 3 & 4: Rehabilitated production system. Night corralling of livestock deposits Overgrazing and excessive charcoal production led to vegetation loss and to high run-off, manure on previously degraded soils. Termites seem to shift their diets from pasture grass soil erosion, and evaporation. Siltation and reduced water quality in valley tanks, a water to manure enabling reestablishment of vegetative cover. Increased upslope ground cover harvesting practice, followed. Livestock water productivity dropped to almost nil. Termites and riparian vegetation filter sediments and pathogens resulting in reduced siltation and consumed any pasture vegetation that started to grow. Degraded pasture constrains higher quality water in valley tanks. Increased transpiration drives greater plant growth animal production and compromises provision of ecosystem services. enabling more crop and animal production that is environmentally sustainable. Results in this poster are based on CPWF research. For details, refer to publications now or soon available from the International Livestock Research Institute ( address For more information contact: or the CGIAR Challenge Program on Water and Food ( This poster was prepared for the Tenth Anniversary of the Nile Basin Initiative, 6-8 November 2009, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. For more information contact Don Peden ( Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Agricultural Economics and © 2009 ILRI (International Livestock Research Institute) Makerere University Research Policy Research Center (ARC, Sudan)