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Building adaptive water resource management in Ethiopia

This new project, led by the Ministry of Water and Energy (MoWE) and ODI, seeks to build resilience to climate change in Ethiopia by strengthening water resources management. The project will identify current bottlenecks in water resources management at federal and basin level, and plan actions to help the MoWE and River Basin Authorities deal with climate change. Our expert project partners include the Ethiopian Institute of Water Resources, Water and Land Resource Centre and Addis Ababa University.


Without effective water resources management, there is a risk that major investments in water development, taking place under the national vision for a Climate Resilient Green Economy and the Growth and Transformation Plan, will not provide sustainable, equitable benefits. In order to ensure that water resources management can handle the pressures arising from rapid development as well as climate change, an adaptive approach is needed. Adaptive water resources management builds on the principles of integrated water resources management (IWRM), but focuses on ‘good enough’ solutions rather than ideal solutions, and puts the flexibility to respond to change centre stage.


The project will have three main activities:


  1. Develop a new tool to assess how far the functions and capacities needed for adaptive water resources management are in place. This will be suitable for national and basin level assessments, and could be extended to other countries in the future.
  2. Apply this tool at federal and basin level in Ethiopia, to develop a ‘roadmap’ of priority actions to help the sector respond to climate change. This will also provide a baseline for the MoWE to monitor improvements over the coming years.
  3. Provide introductory training in Adaptive Water Resources Management.

This project will be officially launched in October 2013.  From August 2014 we hope to secure funding for a second phase, to provide technical support to the MoWE and River Basin Authorities to put the roadmap into action.


For further information contact Josephine Tucker at ODI ([email protected]) or the Basin Administration Directorate at the Ministry of Water and Energy for more information.


Financed by the SCIP Fund:


The SCIP Fund is financed by DFID UK-Aid, the Royal Norwegian Embassy and the Royal Danish Embassy.


Josephine Tucker, Guy Jobbins, Beatrice Mosello, Anu Liisanantti

Supported by