Integrated rainwater management strategies in the Blue Nile Basin of the Ethiopian highlands uri icon


  • This paper describes one component of the research that International Water Management Institute (IWMI) and partners are undertaking as part of the challenge program on water and food (CPWF) Nile Basin Development Challenge (NBDC). The objective of the NBDC is to increase understanding of how to plan successful rainwater management strategies (RMS) and identify how these can be effectively implemented in the Ethiopian highlands of the Blue Nile Basin. The project focuses on integrated rainwater management strategies technologies, institutions and policies but the work described in this paper relates solely to the biophysical components of the study. Three districts, Jeldu, Fogera and Diga, have been identified for the study. These were selected because they represent farming systems that are common in the Ethiopian Highlands. Within each, nested sites have been identified for learning and research at a variety of physical scales. In this paper we describe the â??action research catchmentsâ?� that have been identified in the three districts. These catchments are small representative catchments that are to be monitored to provide insights into hydrological processes and water fluxes at different scales. The objective of this monitoring is to provide baseline data for evaluating RMS, and water-use and water productivity in different landscape components. The baseline status of the three study sites and critical constraints for adoption of integrated RMS are included in this paper. The paper also provides a justification for the research being conducted in Ethiopia and describes common practices and lessons learned from experience in India. Differences in the socio-economic and biophysical context mean that care is needed in transferring approaches between countries. Nevertheless, it is believed that knowledge gained from the extensive Indian experience can usefully inform practices in Ethiopia

publication date

  • 2011