IAHS-AISH Scientific Assembly 2022
© Author(s) 2022. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

The challenge of integrating local communities to evaluate the WEFE Nexus: the example of the Senegal River

Laurent Bruckmann1, Amaury Tilmant1, Khady Yama Sarr2, Ibrahima Barry2, Fama Gueye2, Massaer Mbaye2, and Clément Sambou2
Laurent Bruckmann et al.
  • 1Département de Génie Civil et Génie de l’Eau, Université Laval, Québec (Canada)
  • 2Laboratoire d'Analyse des Politiques de Développement, Faculté des sciences économiques et de gestion, Université Cheikh Anta Diop, Dakar (Sénégal)

Managing the WEFE nexus is a prerequisite towards the sustainable management of water and connected resources at the river basin scale. The challenge is even more important in transboundary river basins such as the Senegal River where the four riparian countries (Guinea, Mali, Mauritania, Senegal) share a common vision: to transform the river into a food-energy-transportation hub in West Africa. This vision requires the construction of hydroelectric power plants, modern irrigation systems and river transport infrastructure, and often requires constant river flows. Several dams already exist and several more are planned in the coming decades. These developments directly threaten the livelihoods of riverine communities that depend on the river banks, mainly for flood-recession agriculture and fishing.

Evaluating the WEFE nexus and its objectives usually involves indicators describing how well the sectoral objectives are met in terms of food production, energy production or percentage of the population with access to safe drinking water and sanitation services. These indicators are often aggregated at the river basin level, which masks local realities: the water needs, water management practices water management practices and inequalities in access to water at communities or households’ level.

The objective of this communication is to present a portfolio of regional and community-level indicators to analyze the WEFE nexus across different spatial and temporal scales. The construction of this portfolio is a two-stage process. Firstly, the definition of relevant indicators is carried out on the basis of consultation with a variety of participants involved in water management in the Senegal River (researchers and experts, institutional stakeholders, civil society actors, local communities). Secondly, local data describing the state of the local indicators of the nexus at the local level are collected from field surveys. We will also show how these indicators can enrich the analysis of basin-wide hydroeconomic models by assessing multi-scale trade-offs, as well as the distributional impacts of nexus interventions. This work is part of the H2020 GoNexus project, which aims at improving the governance of the WEFE nexus in transboundry river basins.

How to cite: Bruckmann, L., Tilmant, A., Sarr, K. Y., Barry, I., Gueye, F., Mbaye, M., and Sambou, C.: The challenge of integrating local communities to evaluate the WEFE Nexus: the example of the Senegal River, IAHS-AISH Scientific Assembly 2022, Montpellier, France, 29 May–3 Jun 2022, IAHS2022-500, https://doi.org/10.5194/iahs2022-500, 2022.