EGU General Assembly 2023
© Author(s) 2023. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Strategies for Climate Smart Water Management in Awash River basin, Ethiopia

Meron Teferi Taye1, Sirak Tekleab1,2, Robel Tilaye Geressu1, Muluken Alemu1, and Abdulkarim Seid1
Meron Teferi Taye et al.
  • 1International Water Management Insititue, East Africa and Nile basin office, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (
  • 2Ethiopian Institute of Water Resources (EIWR), Addis Ababa University , Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Awash River is the most utilized river basin in Ethiopia. The basin has a total of 110,000 km2. The water resources are exploited for various competing needs; domestic, agriculture, livestock's, energy, industry and environment. This study is aimed at enhancing the existing water resources management practices to make them climate resilient in light of climate variability and change. Frequent rainfall extremes, floods and droughts, an imbalance in water availability and demand, water over use in irrigated fields, water use competition and water quality deterioration are the key water management challenges of the basin. Small scale food producers reliant on rain-fed agriculture, small scale irrigators, pastoral and semi-pastoral communities are vulnerable to climate variability and experiencing its impact already. This study identified that their livelihoods are being impacted due to rainfall failure to produce adequate production in the growing period and shortage of fodder for their cattle due to limited soil moisture availability. Based on the identified problems and the existing water management practices, this study developed a conceptual framework, that encompass Climate Smart Water Management (CS-WM) definitions, CS-WM strategies, actions and recommendations to enhance the existing practices on multiple spatial scales. The proposed strategies briefly include improving data and information for more adaptive water resources planning and management, raising awareness and community engagement for improved water management; enhancing effectiveness of water management via technology and innovations, and enhancing alternative clean energy sources to support economic development while minimizing negative consequences of climate variability and change. The strategies and recommendations proposed are tailored to site specific locations and based on societal needs that could solve the identified water management problems and manage tradeoffs among different sectors in the basin.

How to cite: Taye, M. T., Tekleab, S., Geressu, R. T., Alemu, M., and Seid, A.: Strategies for Climate Smart Water Management in Awash River basin, Ethiopia, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 24–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-11769,, 2023.