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Some Features of the Nile River


									    BALWOIS 2006, Conference on Water Observation and
        Information System for Decision Support
                    Ohrid, 23-26 May, 2006

Some Features of the Nile River Basin
      Decision Support Tool

                      Mihailo Andjelic
    Republic Hydrometeorological Institute of Serbia
     (formerly Senior Technical Officer of the Food and
        Agriculture Organisation of U.N, Rome, Italy)
   FAO Nile Basin Water
    Resources Projects
Funded by Italy
Second phase, ended December 2003
Third phase, still ongoing
Ten participating countries: Burundi, DRC,
Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda,
Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda

Focused on Capacity Building for
Integrated Shared Vision Water Resources
Climate ranging from tropical
rainforest to arid zones

Average annual flow: 84 bcm

85% originating from the Blue
Nile, within the months of June
to September

Extensive losses through
evaporation in the Sudd, Lake
Nasser, and other lakes and
Main water uses: irrigation,
hydro- power, transport,
industrial development,
environmental protection, etc
 General Data: Some Comparisons...
              Length        Area   Runoff   Runoff
                [km]      [km2]    [km3]     [mm]
Nile           6,825   3,112,000      84       27
Amazon         6,700   7,050,000   5,518      728
Congo          4,700   3,820,000    1,248     326
Mekong         4,200     975,000     470      590
Mississippi      970   3,270,000     562      170
     Some More General Data:
• Shared by 10 African countries
• Ranges from 4 deg south 31 deg north
• Runoff generated from 20 percent of the
  basin only
• Major runoff contributing areas in
  • the Ethiopian Highlands- Blue Nile
  • Equatorial Lake Plateau - White Nile
    Importance for NB countries

• Rwanda, Uganda, Sudan and Egypt: almost
  completely dependent on Nile - no other
  significant sources of water
• In Burundi, Rwanda and Ethiopia 100 percent
  of water generated inside countries’ borders
  ( zero dependence)
• In Uganda 60, Sudan 23 and in Egypt only 3
  percent of runoff generated inside countries’
          Water Consumption
•   Present : 82 km3/year
•   Year 2020 estimate: 144km3/year
•   Average runoff: 84km3/year
•   Corollary:
    • many Nilotic countries are already rather
      closed to water stress
    • future water demands are physically
      untenable without water use agreements and
      integrated water management - in fact, this
      is an inevitable necessity
 Prerequisites for integrated water
• An institutional cooperative framework
• Adequate monitoring system
• A geo-referenced database and information
  system which includes relevant
  hydrometeorological, water demand and other
  data and information
• Shared-vision planning and water resources
  modelling and management support tools
• Technical expertise
                         Decision Support Systems/Tools

     Information Systems                                                      Methodologies/Models
      Data Acquisition/Computer                                                 Simulation, Forecasting,
          Technologies                                    Interaction             Optimization
      Data Bases                                                                Deterministic, Stochastic
      Geographic Information Systems                                            Planning, Management
      Internet                                                                  Assessment
      Other Information Sources

Data, Information, Knowledge,
Objectives, Constraints, Scenarios,                                              Information Dissemination,
Methodologies, Assessments,                                                      Policy Options/Implications
Updates, Feedback

                    Disciplines                                                         Actors
    … Climatology, Meteorology, Hydrology,                              … Politicians, Judges, Government Agencies,
    Ecology, Environmental Science, Agro               - science,       NGOs, Research Institutions, Academia,
    Engineering, Systems Analysis,             Rem . Snsng .,           Consultants, Citizen Groups, General Public,
    Socio - economics, Law, Politics, Public Policy,                …   Financial Institutions, Other Stakeholders,    …

                             Planning and Management Decisions
   Guiding Principles in Developing
• Based on latest science & technology able to handle
  the Nile basin size, complexity and multitude of
  water development options
• “Neutral” technical decision support tool, whose
  overreaching purpose is to asses in unbiased
  manner the benefits and trade-offs of different
  water allocation/development strategies
• Developed with involvement of users and
  stakeholders in the basin, thus promoting an
  environment of shared vision WD based on
  trustworthy knowledge base, data and information
    Nile – DST is able to generate
•   Estimates of natural water resources regime (rainfall,
    runoff and river flow) in the Nile basin; this DST
    component is also capable of simulating the impacts of
    various climatic changes on water resources regime in
    the basin;
•   Benefits and trade-offs of agricultural/irrigation
    development plans on other water uses and users in the
    Nile Basin;
•   Benefits and trade-offs of hydropower development
    projects on other water uses and users with assessment
    of firm and non-firm energy generation potential;
•   Benefits and trade-offs of cooperative and non-
    cooperative water management strategies (“cooperative”
    being understood as acceptance, by the Nile partners, of
    an integrated shared vision water resources
    management in the Nile basin aimed at maximising the
    benefits - as opposed to status quo, non-cooperation, and
    fragmented water resources management);
         Nile – DST is capable to
•   Benefits and trade-offs of potential, large scale,
    wetland conservation projects;
•   Assessment of the existing information gaps in the
    Nile Basin and identification of an "optimal' water
    resources monitoring network able to satisfy the
    increased future data needs.
•   The system is capable of an easy and user friendly
    retrieval, storage, analysis and exchange of data,
    and information, including the DST outputs,
    between the Nile-DST and the geo-referenced
    database system established for the Nile Basin by
    the project;
•   The whole Nile-DST package is PC Windows NT
    based, developed with a user-friendly graphics
    interface and fully integrated with the geo-
    referenced database
      Main Characteristics of the
         Developed Nile-DST
•    Nile-DST has six main components:
    – Database
    – River simulation and management
    – Agricultural planning
    – Hydrologic modeling
    – Remote sensing, and
    – User-model interface.
•  A comprehensive data warehousing structure
   capable of storing and visualizing
   meteorological, hydrological, climatological,
   agricultural, river basin management,
   demographic and spatial data
•  It is an object-oriented, data structure
   developed to
  – House all types of data (existing as well as
      future) required by water resources decision
      support tool;
  – To optimize data entry, access, visualization,
      and analysis
•  All together, this database contains some 37
   gigabytes of information, the largest such
   collection ever compiled for the Nile Basin.
    River simulation & management
•    Simulates the Nile response under
     different hydrologic, development, and
     management scenarios
•    Its overriding purpose is to objectively
     assess the benefits and tradeoffs associated
     with various water development, sharing,
     and management strategies that may
     interest the Nile Basin partners
     individually or as an interdependent
     community of nations.
•    Tradeoffs exist among water uses in the
     same country and across the Nile countries
        Selected applications of river
         simulation & management
    RS & M can provide answers to various important
    questions. Typical applications are:
•   Value of various regulation, hydro-power, and irrigation
    projects along the White, Blue, and Main Nile branches;
    Such assessments could quantify the incremental benefits
    from individual development projects as well as the
    combined benefits from various project configurations;
•   Implications of reservoir regulation rules for local,
    upstream, and downstream riparians;
•   Marginal value (gain or loss) of irrigation with respect to
    hydropower at various basin locations;
•   Irrigation versus hydropower tradeoffs for each nation,
    region, and the entire basin.
          Agricultural planning
  AP component is developed to assess the crop yield
  potential and irrigation needs at different locations
  within the Nile basin. It can be used for the following
• Crop growth and production can be simulated for 11
  crops at any point in the Nile Basin, based on historical
• The optimal quantitative relationship between crop
  yield and irrigation (the “cropwater production
  function”) can be determined as a continuous function
  from rain-fed to fully irrigated conditions;
• Optimized irrigation schedules can be found for all
  points on the crop-water production function;
    Agricultural planning …
• By simulating for multiple years of climatic
  data, variability of crop yield and irrigation
  needs can be determined;
• Irrigation management for individual farms or
  irrigation districts can include information on
  yield-irrigation relationships, irrigation
  schedules, and sensitivity to other parameters
  provided by the module; and
• Long-term planning decisions can include
  agricultural assessment results for questions of
  water availability and sharing.
            Hydrologic modeling
• Hydrologic watershed ( rainfall-runoff) models provide the
  means to describe the response of river basins (stream flow
  and soil moisture) to different conditions of rainfall and
• A hydrologic rainfall-runoff model has been developed in a
  generic form and has been applied to selective Nile sub-basins
  where data allowed.
• The model applications are showing the significance and
  necessity of good quality hydrologic and hydro-meteorological
  data. Thus, including other existing data and the need for
  data quality control are clearly illustrated.
• Notwithstanding data limitations, the hydrologic model is
  applicable to any basin for which suitable data are available.
               Remote sensing
  RS component includes two remote sensing rainfall
  estimation procedures for all regions of the Nile Basin.
  The results are
 demonstrating the value of remote sensing information
  for rainfall estimation, and
 delineating the areas of the Nile Basin where estimation
  accuracy is fairly reliable (e.g., Lake Victoria basin,
  Ethiopia) and those where better ground rainfall data
  are clearly needed.
 An application over the Lake Victoria and its
  watershed shows that remote sensing can enhance the
  value of conventional data and support water resources
  assessments and management.
                      User interface
 The interface and data visualization tool provides a seamless
  system to look at all of the databases and the results generated by
  each DST module.
 At its heart is a tree-style exploring tool (data tree) that at once
  shows the entire contents of the Nile DST database and, equally
  importantly, allows the user to navigate down to greater and
  greater levels of detail.
 Each database in the Nile DST has a geo-referenced component
  and time series component.
 The geo-referenced data is viewed in the mapping tool, which
  holds a GIS. The time series data is viewed in the charting tool,
  which features a powerful chart and aggregation and statistics
 Together, the charting tool, mapping tool, and the data tree work
  seamlessly to provide the user with an ability to view any piece of
  information in the system quickly and meaningfully
 The Nile DST models the entire basin system and
  assesses the tradeoffs and consequences of various
  cross-sector and basin wide development scenarios.
 It allows the impacts of various levels of regional
  coordination/ cooperation to be examined and
  quantified, serves as a cornerstone for information
  integration and enables for the first time ever all the
  riparian states to use a common water resources
  assessment tool.
• Assessments are expressed in quantities of river flow,
  water supply, food production, and energy generation.
  Building on these developments, it is now possible to
  introduce the next layer of assessment capabilities that
  can translate these physical outputs into economic and
  social benefits and impacts. Furthermore, a water quality
  component can be added to enable fully integrated
                  Conclusions …
• It is expected that these and possibly other new capabilities
  should be added to the Nile-DST through other projects in
  the basin, including the ongoing Water Resource Planning
  and Management Project being implemented under the
  Shared Vision Program of the Nile Basin Initiative.
 the tool also proved its value in assessing various
  information and data gaps in the basin.
• Last but not least, this type of modeling tools/ systems is
  considered essential in dealing with numerous water
  resources management issues in other international
  river basins - in Europe, Balkans and elsewhere in the
History of Nile Cooperation
   Colonial Period Treaties
   Postcolonial Period:
     Hydromet (1965 - 1993)
     TECCONILE ( 1993 - Feb. 1999 )
     Nile 2002 Conference Series
     Basin-wide Nile Projects
Nile Basin Initiative (since Feb.
1999): supported for the first
time by all the riparian states
       Nile Basin Initiative

• Organisational Structure:
   – Governed by Council of Ministers ( Nile-COM)
   – Nile-COM supported by Technical Advisory
     Committee ( Nile - TAC)
   – Nile Secretariat - provides administrative and logistics
     support to Nile-COM and TAC
• External Partners:WB,UNDP,CIDA, FAO, Italy
• Financing: the International Consortium for Co-
  operation on the Nile (ICCON)
Nile Basin Initiative Programme

                Shared Vision :
               "To achieve sustainable socio-
               economic development through the
               equitable utilisation of, and benefit
               from, the common Nile Basin water
               The Shared Vision thus puts
               economic development at its

                Action on the ground:
               Concrete Investment Projects at the
               Sub-basin and National level.
Shared Vision Projects
 Confidence Building & Stakeholder Involvement
 Assessment of Opportunities for Power Trade
 Environmental Analysis & Management
 Efficient Water Use in Agriculture
 Socio-Economic Development & Benefit Sharing
 Nile Basin Water Resources Planning and
 Applied Training
Plus two ongoing basin-wide Nile
 Italy/FAO Project: Capacity Building for Water
Resources Management in the Nile Basin
 UNDP Project: Legal and Institutional
Framework for Cooperation in the Nile Basin

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