Measuring the Water Governance Efficiency of the Upper Blue Nile River Basin
Kwabena, Fletcher Fynn
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The Nile Basin is shared by eleven riparian countries and is the lifeline for more than 238 million people living in the basin. The Nile water has been crucial for upstream and downstream users with competing needs such as irrigation, domestic water supply, hydropower, industry, and other ecosystem services. These competing needs are severely compromised by soil erosion in the upstream part of the basin and siltation of reservoirs and irrigation canals in the downstream portion of the river reach. Climate and land-use changes and poor land management are other biophysical challenges to the water resources in the basin. It is, therefore, generally agreed that proper water governance is needed to remedy this situation. The study consequently measured the water governance efficiency of the Upper Blue Nile river basin in Ethiopia. Measuring water governance efficiency is essential because if we cannot measure it, we cannot improve the system. The study adopted a mixed-methods approach using survey questions and semi-structured interviews to gather perceptions and expert opinions, respectively. By using Statistical Package for Social Sciences, and thematic analysis on Microsoft Excel, the water governance efficiency of the river basin was estimated. The analysis determined the water governance efficiency at about 68 per cent. The study concluded that water governance of the basin was relatively good, considering the broader governance context of Ethiopia. However, several efforts need to be made to increase institutional capacity on the basin for better governance; it includes capacity building, political commitment, coordinated decision making by all sectors, among others.