Status of Groundwater Resources Governance Sudan: Nubian Sandstone Project
3rd Targeted Regional Workshop for GEF IW
Projects in Africa
07-09 May 2014 South Africa
Status of Groundwater Resources Governance ,
By : Osman Mustafa Ahmed Mohamed
Nubian Sandstone Progect, Sudan
• Groundwater Resources Description
Occurrence – Assessment - Development and uses -
Management – Shared Basins
• Governance status
Institution - Policy – Strategies - Legislations - Stakeholders
-awareness & water education – Challenges- opportunities
National and Regional
•The geological column of Sudan
from bottom to top comprises ; The
Basement complex BC, The Nubian
formation Uncomfortably overlying
the undulated BC, The volcanic
Rocks inter-bedding the Nubian
formation, Um Rawaba and Gezira
Formation and the Recent superficial
•The sedimentary group and in
particular the sandstone of the
Nubian formation is the most
significance aquifer due to excellent
or good Hydraulic properties (ability
to Store and Transmit water)
•The B.C (crack aquifer ) is of less
significance and contributes in
domestic use south isohyets 300
Groundwater Resources Description
Groundwater Resources Description
• Groundwater resource contributes with 17 % of the
national water resources volume and with 76 % in the
• Shared Basins;
• The Nubian Sand Stone Aquifer System NSAS
extends cross borders to cover considerable
areas in Chad, Egypt and Libya.
• Many projects aiming to proper management of
the shared basin were implemented and the
results; the establishment of Joint Authority for
the Study and development of the Nubian Sand
• Before1956 groundwater belonged to the Soil
Conservation and Land uses departments in the Ministry of
• In 1957 treated as mineral within the Geological Survey of
the Ministry of Mining and Energy.
• In 1967 Groundwater Research section was established
within the Rural Water Corporation in the ministry of
• In 1996 the water resources gathered in the MWR and
different names were given to the groundwater institute ;
Non Nile Water General Directorate , Groundwater
Directorate .Since 2000 and forward, Groundwater and
Wadis GWWD sharing one directorate out of the six
general directorates in the (MWR) Now (MWRE).
•The institutional set up in Sudan includes (MIWR) as the lead
of the water sector institution. relevant supportive or user
ministries include; The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry
(MAF)The Ministry of Electricity (ME)The Ministry of Energy &
Mining (MEM) Environment and Physical Development (MEPD)
• The functions include :Water allocation system (water rights,
licensing, and monitoring), Regulation: Standard setting,
permitting (water & discharge), compliance, monitoring,
sanctioning/ enforcement functions Pollution control function
(Emission standards)Specific water quality standards.
• The water provision is federal but the foreign support control
and distribution is central.
Joint Authority for the Study and development of the Nubian Sand
stone-3 members from each 4 countries.
3 members act as Steering Committee with communications with
others Stakeholders (Ministry of Planning and Environment –GEF focal
-Workshop organized during project implantation (SADA-SAP Process)
In our preparation of Sudan SADA we are able to gather representatives
from different Miniseries from Federal level and States level as
Stakeholders in a workshop to get feed back from them about how can
we manage the aquifer and what policy we will adopt and what
Institutional bodies will be involved.
-Now we are working on Groundwater policy which will help
us to have control on drilling and abstraction from
Groundwater Aquifer especially in Nubian Aquifer
(Investment for Agriculture now undergoing).
-National office Of JA of Nubian was established in Sudan
to follow outcomes of Nubian Project and follow up Future
Project (under process by GEF ).
•Three pending draft versions of water policy exist; 1992, 2000, and 2008 .
•Functions; to manage surface water, groundwater and the Nile. Also includes
;protection of the environment ,the mitigation of drought and flood impacts.
•The goal of the policy addressed the sustainable and efficient water resources
management as a foundation for national economic development.
•priorities ; Drinking water ,food security, sanitation, environment protection
•Negotiation coopration approaches for the management of the shared basins.
•The Policy drafted in 2008 addressed drinking water and Sanitation . (Bottom
•The objective of the policy is to ensure that the needs for drinking water and
sanitation in rural and urban areas are fully addressed through realistic
strategies considering the millennium development targets .
Strategies and budget
• The long term strategies for the water resources and
agricultural sectors emphasized the uses priorities;
drinking , food security, sanitation, environment protection.
• The main features includes community participation
,coordination through stake holders involvement, continues
evaluation and updating and capacity building.
• the policy drafts consider new water resources exploration
but the strategies programs ignore groundwater search
• The water sector budget is two folds; Water supply budget
(millennium development targets ) and irrigation budget.
• No water management budget is recognized in the Ministry
of finance and only few and small scale regional and site
investigation use to be conducted pre-drilling activities.
Stake holders participation
•There is no platform for interaction with stakeholders at
a national level, while equivalent bodies do exist and
operational at state and local levels.
•Projects (at implementation level) constitutes effective
platforms for stakeholders’ interactions at national and
•Recently the MOWR Now (MWRE) Launched the
theme (Shared Vision towards IWRM) aiming to the
institutional and stakeholders efforts integration.
Working groups were formed for uses and
Periodical meetings and workshops approach is
adopted to fulfill the shared Vision
• Water related legislation in Sudan is marked by a series of
about 23 scattered and isolated laws and regulations.
• Groundwater is highlighted by general statement
• The existing regulations are not empowered for the task,.
• Key areas of conflict between the Water Act and other
legislation are caused by the interim constitution and the new
• Each of the 2 6 ? northern States has its own Water
Corporation Act although the situation of ownership of water
was defined in the water resources Act of 1995 as a common
good and its management is vested on the Federal
• Most of the water laws put emphasis on water development
ignoring the impacts and water resources management .
Therefore, existing water laws have become obsolete.
• There is need for water law reform in Sudan through updating,
break down, identification of institutions mandate and
strengthening enforcement capacities.
Awareness and Water Education
•Awareness raising is needed among all
•Awareness materials to the public in the media are
confined to the World Water Day celebration and big
water forums in form of panels . Posters, T shirts,
Caps, Comedy materials
•In Sudan water issue is well covered in the syllabus of
the elementary and secondary schools, but it needs
reform ; To be less academic and not to be taken by
pupils as lessons for exam. Al so it lacks the sense of
•Lack of transparency and sufficient data.
•Lack of financial and material support to the
• lack of accountability due to the non-implementation of
rules and regulations and absence of professionalism.
•The institutional instability does not allow continuity in
implementing water governance plans.
• Need for awareness-raising among all stakeholders for
issues related to water governance.
The governance challenges resulted in; Lack of comprehensive
assessment and evaluation of groundwater resources ,unplanned
and random development; without licensing and close supervision
by hydro geologist and poor management
Opportunities for good governance
In Sudan ;
The promising peace process
The on going political and economic reforms .
The integration of the national efforts in the region
and making the optimal use of the international
organization support and guidance.
Enhance the adopted IWRM governance ;
1. Improve capacity building through, trained staff and
upgrading of working facilities
2. Reform the legal aspects through, Updating , break down,
mandates and strengthening capacity of implementation
3. Attach research body to the institutional set up.
4. Improve funding from the National budget.
1. Formulation of high-level political and technical regional
frameworks to steer the governance machinery.