IWRA World Water Congress 2008 Montpellier France
1. Water availability, use and management
BRL, 1105 avenue Pierre Mendès France, 30001 Nîmes cedex 05
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Water availability, use and management
Subject: Water availability, use and
Today there are 95 million people living in the Niger River basin. In 2025, there
could be as many as 155 million. Their living conditions are under threat because the Niger is drying up and getting a
fair share of water is one of the greatest challenges the nine riparian countries have ever had to face.
(Niger Basin Authority) therefore launched a study process known as the "joint vision" to prepare a sustainable
development action plan.
- to prepare an action plan for sustainable development (SDAP) in the
Niger River Basin
- to set up the technical instruments required to perform the study, for identifying scenarios,
assessing them and monitoring actions.
- to take account of the demand and resource evolution trends related
to climate change.
The approach included:
- identifying the water demand with forecasts
for various periods (up to 2025) for the various water usages
- setting up a hydraulic model, which will
make it possible to:
o assess the present functioning of the system
o plan development and
o and assist future management of the system
- to establish evaluation criteria, some of
which are monetary (agricultural production, hydropower...) and others depend on their social or environmental
- and to define a territorial breakdown based on the assets and potential of uniform zones (Development
Zones) extending beyond administrative State boundaries.
The studies enabled the
- establishment of shared demand scenarios, including assumptions to be used when certain
data are lacking,
- comparison of numerous development scenarios in response to the issues highlighted in the
Shared Vision, seeking in particular to meet the water demand everywhere in the river basin for the same levels of
priority (principle of equi-satisfaction). The SDAP confirms the levels of priority applicable at Development Zone
- proposal of a decision aid to characterise scenarios according to economic criteria, but also integrating
political (sharing the benefits of the water) and hydraulic (equi-satisfaction) concepts.
interest of this method is its iterative, integrated approach to the different stages: the demand database was interfaced
with the hydraulic model. The main issues defined in the SDAP were translated into scenarios and tested with the
hydraulic model then assessed with the decision-aid.
Permanent consultation between member countries and
consultants made sure that everyone took up the approach and its methods within a limited timeframe.
in its principles, both in the choice to prioritize demands and to manage development zones as opposed to
transboundary management, this approach was a way of shifting the planning framework to place the emphasis on
the river basin as a whole.