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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: $10,031,742,119.00

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

  • Access to Drinking Water: $928,780,234.00 - [9%]
  • Access to Sanitation: $7,041,080,883.00 - [70%]
  • Industrial Pollution: $58,860,000.00 - [1%]
  • Agricultural Pollution: $171,123,172.00 - [2%]
  • Water Scarcity: $159,940,810.00 - [2%]
  • Water Management: $1,671,957,020.00 - [17%]

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

Water Challenges

As reported by organizations on the Hub.

Access to Water Supply and Water Services
Land Use Issues
Physical water supply
Water Demand and Competition among Users
Water Pricing
Local Water Resource Governance
Upstream Water Issues

Country Overview

1.1.1.WATER RESOURCES Ethiopia is endowed with a substantial amount of water resources. The surface water resource potential is impressive, but little developed. The country possesses 12 major river basins, which form four major drainage systems: -The Nile basin (including Abbay or Blue Nile, Baro-Akobo, Setit-Tekeze/Atbara and Mereb) covers 33 per cent of the country and drains the northern and central parts westwards; -The Rift Valley (including Awash, Denakil, Omo-Gibe and Central Lakes) covers 28 per cent of the country; -The Shebelli-Juba basin (including Wabi-Shebelle and Genale-Dawa) covers 33 per cent of the country and drains the southeastern mountains towards Somalia and the Indian Ocean; -The North-East Coast (including the Ogaden and Gulf of Aden basins) covers 6 per cent of the country. Integrated development master plan studies and related river basin surveys undertaken at the end of the 1990s indicate that the aggregate annual runoff from nine Ethiopian river basins is about 122km3. The Abbay, Baro-Akobo and Omo-Gibe basins account for about 76 per cent of the total runoff from an area that is only 32 per cent of the total area of the country. Most of the rivers in Ethiopia are seasonal and about 70 per cent of the total runoff is obtained during the period JuneAugust. Dry season flow originates from springs which provide baseflows for small-scale irrigation. The groundwater potential of the country is not known with any certainty, but so far only a small fraction of the groundwater has been developed and this mainly for local water supply purposes. Traditional wells are widely used by nomads. Neither desalinization nor treatment of wastewater is practised in Ethiopia. Intense rainfall sometimes causes flooding particularly along the Awash River and in the lower Baro-Akobo and Wabe-Shebelle river basins, causing damage to standing crops and infrastructures. The construction of dykes mitigated the problem but has not provided a longlasting solution. Ethiopia has several lakes (an area of about 7,000km2), a number of saline and crater lakes as well as several wetland areas. All the lakes, except Lake Tana which is the source of the Abbay River in the Nile Basin, are found in the Rift Valley and among these lakes only Zway has fresh water while the others are all saline. Rising water levels in Lake Tana and Lake Awassa after intense rainfall have been creating concern. Large wetlands serve as a source of water for large rivers, flood retention and groundwater recharge. They are critical resources because they are areas of high biodiversity and are often vital to the livelihood strategies of local communities through the provision of environmental services and socio-economic benefits. Ethiopia has so far put no emphasis on developing and protecting the large wetlands, although external initiatives are emerging. Ethiopia has many small, medium and large reservoir dams constructed for hydropower generation, irrigation and drinking water supply. Small dams are less than 15m high and have a capacity of less than 3 million m3. The height of the medium and large dams in Ethiopia is 15-50m and their capacity ranges from 4 to 1,900 million m3. In total, there are nine medium and large dams with a total capacity of almost 3.5km3. Two large dams are used for hydropower generation only, one dam is used both for hydropower generation and irrigation supply, two dams are used for irrigation supply only and the remaining four for water supply to the city of Addis Ababa and the town of Gondar. Small dams (micro-dams) constructed for irrigation supply are concentrated in the Amhara and Tigray regional states.

1.1.2.WATER USE Written information on water use is not available, but agriculture is obviously the main waterconsuming sector. Based on the total irrigated area, cropping pattern and calendar, annual agricultural water use is estimated to be in the order of 5.2km3, while municipal and industrial water withdrawals are estimated to be about 0.33 and 0.02km3 respectively. There is growing concern about water use because of the conflict between the environment and agriculture particularly in lowland rural areas, where total baseflows are diverted for irrigation without releasing water for ecological conservation. Groundwater has not yet been considered for irrigation development, mainly due to high investment and running costs, but pilot schemes to use groundwater for irrigation have been started.

1.2.WATER QUALITY, ECOSYSTEMS AND HUMAN HEALTH Major environmental problems are deforestation; overgrazing; soil erosion; desertification; water shortages in some areas from water-intensive farming and poor management. No irrigated land has reportedly been abandoned due to salinity so far, but salinity problems are being observed in irrigated lands along the Awash River. In addition, water pollution in the Awash River is becoming a concern. Generally, however, the water quality is within the suitable range of irrigation water quality standards. The problem of water quality due to drainage water from irrigated fields is not serious because the large rivers dilute it. In small-scale irrigation schemes, particularly in lowland areas, hardly any drainage water goes into the rivers. However, industrial effluents are being emptied directly into the river system and its tributaries in an uncontrolled manner. A major problem in the country is soil erosion and land degradation, resulting in the sedimentation of reservoirs and the high cost of allowing for silt accumulation in the reservoirs. Studies indicate that annual soil erosion in Ethiopia varies from 17 to 300 tonnes/ha. Country Overview - Ethiopia Although the extent is not known, water-related diseases and malaria are prevalent in irrigated areas not only in medium- and large-scale but also in small-scale irrigation schemes because canal water is being used for municipal purposes.

Country Water Profile

Coming Soon

Organizations in Ethiopia

Our mission is to create,train,coach and develop Enterpruners in Ethiopia. Learn More

African Resilience Concern (ARC Africa) is an independent non-profit organization dedicated to promoting sustainable development and resilience in Africa. Our mission is to enhance the capacity of individuals and communities to adapt to environmental, social, and economic challenges through innovative … Learn More

Aqua for All is a not-for-profit organisation operating in Africa and Asia. For almost two decades, we have worked towards catalysing an innovative, sustainable and inclusive water and sanitation economy worldwide. We believe that innovation, scalable solutions, and public and … Learn More

Our mission is to provide complete water development services and affordable products, creating access to clean water. This includes a wide assortment of essential, sustainable, life-enhancing products and services to benefit people living in crisis. Our clients are mostly NGO's … Learn More

About Us Community Development and Sustainability Organization (CDS) is concerned with good governance and advocacy. CDS represents the voice and proactive action of communities in five counties as potential engines of socio-economic growth and national democracy in respective jurisdictions. CDS … Learn More

Diageo plc is a British multinational alcoholic beverages company, with its headquarters in London, England. Diageo is the world's largest producer of spirits and a key producer of beer. Diageo's commitment to water stewardship is outlined in its Blueprint Water … Learn More

Facilitating daily access to clean, and safe drinking water for Women and Children in the Horn of African Region. Learn More

HYDROC is an association of independent consultants, -scientists and -engineers, providing water-related services through a network of national and international experts. Our concept uses the synergies of our combined expertise for the successful implementation of a variety of projects. Our … Learn More

Consulting Services in the Water Resources and Environmental Sectors Proactive Solutions for Water Resources and Environmental Challenges At MEK Earth &amp; Environmental Inc., we help clients in Canada and internationally to develop world-class, sustainable programs in the water resources and … Learn More

NatuReS’ Vision: Preserving Natural Resources The Natural Resources Stewardship Programme (NatuReS) enables private-public-civil society partnerships to manage the natural resources they need for sustainable growth and better livelihoods. The programme’s vision is a world where all stakeholders collaborate to sustainably … Learn More

We develop agroforestry projects within the supply chains of companies (Insetting) and value water benefits, among others. We develop as well a Trees4Water valuation tool that we would like to share with your platform. WE REGENERATE ECOSYSTEMS TO IMPROVE LIVELIHOODS … Learn More

WASH is critical to leading healthy lives. Yet billions of people every day still do not have access to safe and clean water for drinking or washing, toilets and basic hygiene requirements to ensure that they stay healthy and well. … Learn More

Water For People exists to promote the development of high-quality drinking water and sanitation services, accessible to all, and sustained by strong communities, businesses, and governments. OUR VISION A world where every person has access to reliable and safe water … Learn More

A research and advocacy charity working for equitable and sustainable water resource management. We work with all water users to support objective understanding of opportunities and barriers to progress, and to galvanise action based on reliable evidence, transperancy and accountability. Learn More

Our Vision is widespread implementation of sustainable chemistry, driving innovations and best practices in textile, apparel and footwear industries to protect consumers, workers and the environment. Our Mission is to enable brands and retailers in the textile, apparel, and footwear … Learn More

Projects in Ethiopia

The project aims to build the alliance of Ethiopia WASH Partners that is working as a program approach. The project composed of carrying out different alliance building activities known as joint activities. These activities are aimed at building the bondage … Learn More

The Partnership aims to improve the capacity of stakeholders in Oromia Regional State for sustainable water and sanitation infrastructure development and water resources protection. Specifically, project management capacity of Oromia Water Mineral and Energy Bureau (OWMEB) and management capacity for … Learn More

After the acquisition of the Harar Brewery by HEINEKEN in 2011, the decision was made to replace the existing wastewater treatment plant with an entirely new one. The performance of the existing plant did not meet our quality standards, nor … Learn More

Zanzibar is a small Island with huge climate change impacts that not much has been done so far to addap with. To solve the problems three piloted areas based on tourism, agriculture, fisheries, livestock and social issues criterias were used … Learn More

The WaterAid team in Ethiopia has distributed 50 water tanks with 5,000 liter capacity, 2,500 liters of alcohol and more than 1,000 bars of laundry soaps to health centers and temporary COVID-19 treatment sites in Addis Ababa, the country's capital … Learn More

The project discribes the linkage between waste managemt with Urban agriculture in different forms focussing in Dire Dawa city in order to make the city a centre for learning for East Hararghe project woredas and it involves action research, Learning … Learn More

The overall objective of the project is to improve the living conditions of the population at risk of suffering from Fluorosis in the populations of Dida and Obe, in the Ethiopian Rift Valley. The specific objective of the project is … Learn More

The IPEV Project addresses the chemical management and wastewater management related complexities in up to 17 Industrial Parks, and up to 140 individual suppliers located in these Industrial Parks in Ethiopia and Vietnam. Considering the existing situation of the chemical … Learn More

Protecting Lake Hawassa is a broad and inclusive multi-stakeholder collaboration platform established in 2017, currently facilitated by the NatuReS programme, to improve water security for people, business and the environment in Hawassa, its lake and sub-catchment area. The partnership brings … Learn More

Starbucks and Conservation International began an assessment of the water component of the Coffee and Farmer Equity (C.A.F.E.) Practices program in 2008, focused on 2 stages in the coffee value chain: cultivating, growing and harvesting coffee using methods that avoid … Learn More

The project will work to improve the organisational capacity of local organisations and local government agriculture and water bureaus to ensure efficient expansion of and continued delivery of quality Rainwater harvesting and WASH projects. Then project will strengthen partners through … Learn More

The project seeks to reduce the food insecurity of the rural population of Guimbichu, which suffers from cyclical famines because of droughts, a consequence of climate change, on their crops and livestock. Food shortages affect women, who are responsible for … Learn More

Support WASH Practices of Pastoral Communities in Miyo. Learn More

The major project plans for 2012 fiscal year include: - Construction of 4 institution Latrines - Drilling of two boreholes - Development/improvements of 3 hand dug wells - Water supply extension works of for one community - Learn More

Contributing to improved access to and use of safe water and improved hygiene practices of pastoralist and agro pastoralist communities of Dugda Dawa Woreda. A combination of facility support through construction of water systems and sanitation facilities is only ideal … Learn More

Local young water expert Mukrab kassahun, I have been working in MS Consultancy with joint venture of Acacia Water B.V as Hydrogelogist for PPP in Harer and Water supply project of Heineken Brewery project in Ethiopia. I am responsible for … Learn More

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