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Area: 5888268 km2
Brazil; Peru; Suriname; France; Colombia; Guyana; Bolivia; Venezuela; Ecuador
Santa Cruz; Manaus; La Paz
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City & Country

Water-Related Challenge Costs

Total annual estimated cost to address all water-related challenges: $575,394,959.00

Share of total annual estimated cost to address each individual challenge (2015 $USD):

  • Access to Drinking Water: $126,479,602.00 - [22%]
  • Access to Sanitation: $295,450,077.00 - [51%]
  • Industrial Pollution: $42,312,964.00 - [7%]
  • Agricultural Pollution: $15,215,744.00 - [3%]
  • Water Scarcity: $37,411.00 - [0%]
  • Water Management: $95,899,160.00 - [17%]

For more about this data, see information on WRI’s Achieving Abundance dataset here.

Water Challenges

As reported by organizations on the Hub.

No challenges found.

Country Overview

1.1.1.WATER RESOURCES The internal renewable water resources are estimated to be 10.3km3/year and total renewable resources, including water entering the country, 26.4km3/year. The total water surface and the capacity of groundwater recharge is estimated to be 13,106km3 (excluding the Niger but including water from upstream countries for some other stations) and 1,870km3 of water per year, respectively. The wetlands of Benin are primarily concentrated in the south and account for about 2,505km2 as follows: -20km2 of inland water bodies; -2,050km2 of flood plains and lowlands; -35km2 of water bodies, including reservoirs. In 1999, there were 226 micro-dams storing 10,000 to 150,000m3 of water. The total volume of water stored in these works is estimated to be 40 million m3 (24 million m3 for the dam in the sugar-producing region in Savé); -400km2 of river-lagoon complex. Rich biodiversity sanctuaries, the wetlands of Benin are being overexploited and species threatened with extinction due to human activities (construction, garbage dumps, etc) and the development of fresh water hyacinth (calamote). According to GWP PNE-Benin (2010), the country receives an annual average of 700mm in the north and 1,300mm in the north; rainfall can reach 1,400mm in the southeast. Benin is drained by a dense hydrographical network made up of seasonal flow rivers. The renewable water resources of the country are estimated at about 15 billion m3 of water per year, including approximately 2 billion and 13 billion m3 of groundwater and surface water respectively, unequally distributed in terms of regions and seasons. The country is still at a stage where catchments and water uses are not controlled and do not fall under any enforced regulation. The country currently uses less than 3 per cent of its renewable water resources, meaning that 97 per cent is lost through evaporation and spring runoff. According to forecasts made in 2000 (Benin Report, Water Vision 2025), Benin only needs about 40 per cent of its renewable water resources to meet its development needs to 2025, excluding the non-evaluated needs of the industrial sector. These forecasts, however, do not take into account the impacts of climate change on water resources and the increasingly pressing need for the population to adapt. In addition, the chronic lack of reliable and useful water data and the current mode of GDP calculation make it almost impossible to estimate the real contribution of water to growth and economic development in Benin (GWP PNE-Benin, 2010). However, the irreplaceable role that water plays in the development of the country was partly taken into account in the 2007-2009 Strategic Document for Growth and Poverty Alleviation (DSCRP), in which it was identified as one of the priorities of the Beninese government. It is true to say that better water resources management is key to growth and economic development in Benin (GWP PNE-Benin, 2010).

1.1.2.WATER USE Water resources in Benin are rarely used. Asessment of a sample of 100 million m3 of water used for agriculture, livestock and domestic purposes in the year 2001 on the basis of commonly used consumption assumptions and data collected from the Benin Electricity and Water Company (SBEE) provided the following usage breakdown: •irrigation: 45 million m3 •livestock watering: 14 million m3 •drinking water: 41 million m3, including: •urban population: 25 million m3 •rural population: 16 million m3 For 2025, 1,068 billion m3 of total withdrawal is expected for agriculture, livestock and domestic purposes: •agriculture and livestock (450km2, 3,291 million head of cattle): 653 million m3 •household uses: 415 million m3

1.2.WATER QUALITY, ECOSYSTEMS AND HUMAN HEALTH Benin has enough good-quality water to meet its needs. However, the risk of bacteriological, chemical and biological water contamination exists in areas of very high concentrations of people and in cotton production regions. Unfortunately, there exists no operational monitoring mechanism to measure progress. Irrigation, because of its very low level of development, has had no measurable impact yet on the water quality. Although the country does not exploit more than 32 per cent of its arable land, unsuitable farming practices (extensive agriculture and slash and burn, application of chemical fertilizers, use of steep slopes and plowing parallel to the lines of steepest slope) have caused accelerated erosion and consequent siltation of water bodies. From the perspective of the irrigation impacts on health, a relatively high prevalence of diseases linked to water (malaria, bilharzia, diarrhoea and swelling of the feet) is reported in riparian areas of development. According to USAID (2010), the lack of safe drinking water is a major problem confronting Benin’s residents, particularly in rural areas, where, according to the 2006 Demographic and Health Survey Country Overview - Benin (DHS), 43 per cent do not have access to improved water sources (Institut National de la Statistique et de l’Analyse Économique et al. 2007). The 2006 DHS also showed that 94 per cent of the population did nothing to treat drinking water to prevent diarrhoea. Of those who did treat, 50 per cent used eau de javel (household bleach, which is not manufactured to food-grade standards and is not of a consistent concentration that allows for proper dosing for water treatment) and 33 per cent used other, often inadequate treatments (such as straining through a cloth). According to the Ministry of Health’s 2005 Annual Report and data from the National Health Management Information System (Système National d’Information et de Gestion Sanitaires, or SNIGS), the principal reasons for health-facility visits for children under five were: malaria (41 per cent); respiratory infections (20 per cent); diarrhoea and gastrointestinal problems (15 per cent); and anaemia (7 per cent). The World Health Organization estimates that 13 per cent of deaths in children under five in Benin are caused by diarrhoea. High diarrhoea-related death rates can be attributed to poor hygiene and sanitation practices and poor-quality drinking water – both of which contribute to the spread of water-related diseases (USAID, 2010)

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Country Water Profile

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Organizations in Benin

The mission of our organization is to nassist based communities in their development projects initiating and implementation in water, agriculture, anvironment and women empowerment Learn More

Projects in Benin

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Suggested Resources

View the full list of 300+ resources at the Water Stewardship Toolbox

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Developers: American Water Works Association

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Developers: CEO Water Mandate, Pacific Institute

Includes Immediate steps, ongoing health measures that can be taken, and responsible business practice Learn More

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Developers: Sabesp

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Developers: EPA Office of Wastewater Management

Best practices- Resources- Webinars on WASH/COVID-19 topics. Learn More

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Adapting to climate change, coupled with the need to address aging infrastructure, population growth, and degraded ecosystems, requires significant investment in natural and built water systems. These investments present a significant opportunity to support not only water, but to provide … Learn More

Developers: Pacific Institute

To help our partners in responding to this health crisis in their countries, we have compiled different resources and tools around COVID-19 and WASH, which include documents, videos, social media materials with messages on public health, webinar recordings, etc. Learn More

How to ensure the safety of staff and maintaining water quality in buildings with little or no use. Learn More

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SAVEh is the platform through which Ambev shares its water management system free of charge with other companies, which has helped to reduce more than 40% of the company’s water consumption in the last 13 years. This water efficiency tool … Learn More

Developers: Ambev S/A

The Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Compass Business Tools inventory maps existing business tools against the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It allows you to explore commonly used business tools that may be useful when assessing your organization’s impact on the SDGs. Learn More

In response to the challenge of quantifying the business benefits, WaterAid, Diageo, GAP Inc., and Unilever have worked with PwC and ODI to develop a practical, step-by-step guide. The guide will help companies understand the business value of their WASH … Learn More

Developers: WaterAid

The Forest Stewardship Council created the Principles of Forest Stewardship as a worldwide standard to promote environmentally responsible, socially beneficial and economically viable management of the world’s forests. Learn More

The AWS Standard is a globally-applicable framework for major water users to understand their water use and impacts, and to work collaboratively and transparently for sustainable water management within a catchment context. Learn More

Developers: Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS)

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Developers: World Economic Forum

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Developers: WWF

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Developers: WWF

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WBCSD Learn More

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AT&T; EDF; Global Environmental Management Institute (GEMI) Learn More

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SAI Platform Learn More

Leonardo Rodriguez
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