n Civil Engineering = Siviele Ingenieurswese - A decision support system for integrated water resource management in the Nile River Basin : environmental engineering

Volume 22, Issue 7
  • ISSN : 1021-2000



The Nile is the world's longest river with a basin area of approximately 3.2 million square kilometres stretching over 11 African countries. The Nile Basin exhibits a complex mix of hydrology, climate, socio-economic and eco-system settings. The Nile has two major sources of water: the equatorial lakes region (which contributes about 15% of the total annual runoff received at the downstream end of the Nile) and the Ethiopian highland (which contributes about 85% of the yearly flow). The Nile Basin harbours one of the world's largest freshwater wetlands, providing a huge water storage function, as well as immense eco-system services. Compared to many large river basins in the world, the Nile Basin is a water-scarce region. Nearly all irrigation currently takes place in the arid and hyper-arid downstream parts of the basin that contribute only negligibly to basin runoff. Due to high dependence on subsistence level rain-fed agriculture in upstream countries, the GDPs of these countries are highly affected by the strong intra-annual variability of rainfall, thus making their economies hostage to climatic variability.

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