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Water 2018, 10(7), 892;

Evaluating the Impacts of IWRM Policy Actions on Demand Satisfaction and Downstream Water Availability in the Upper Awash Basin, Ethiopia

IHE Delft Institute for Water Education, Westvest 7, 2611 AX Delft, The Netherlands
Water and Land Resources Center, Addis Ababa University, 3880 Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 20 April 2018 / Revised: 21 June 2018 / Accepted: 27 June 2018 / Published: 4 July 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Water Resources Management and Governance)
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Water scarcity problems are becoming increasingly common due to higher water demand, urbanization, economic development and climatic variability. Policies and measures based on Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) are often advocated to tackle the problems of competing demands and conflicts among stakeholders. Demand management measures as part of the IWRM package are expected to offset the increased demands on water resources caused by economic growth. However, even if IWRM-based policies are in place, the potential impacts of demand management are seldom quantified while formulating water policies or development plans. To address this, we conducted scenario analysis using Water Evaluation and Planning System (WEAP21) in a case study from the Awash Basin in Ethiopia. We show that ambitious irrigation expansion plans to combat food insecurity will lead to overexploitation of water resources with increasing inequity between smallholders and commercial farmers. Demand management measures proposed by water users are insufficient to offset these consequences. Potential demand measures that are embedded in the IWRM-based policies alone are also insufficient. While water policies emphasize IWRM principles but do not indicate how to properly implement them, economic development plans are often launched without adequately considering equity and environment, two of the three pillars of IWRM. This scenario analysis shows the importance of quantitative information in IWRM formulation and monitoring. View Full-Text
Keywords: IWRM; WEAP21; scenarios IWRM; WEAP21; scenarios

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Mersha, A.N.; Masih, I.; De Fraiture, C.; Wenninger, J.; Alamirew, T. Evaluating the Impacts of IWRM Policy Actions on Demand Satisfaction and Downstream Water Availability in the Upper Awash Basin, Ethiopia. Water 2018, 10, 892.

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