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Surface Water and Groundwater Resources of Ethiopia: Potentials and Challenges of Water Resources Development

Abstract

Ethiopia has a complex topography, diversified climate, and immense water resources. The spatiotemporal variability of the water resources is characterized by multi-weather systems rainfall of the country. Most of the river courses become full and flood their surroundings during the three main rainy months (June–August). West-flowing rivers (Abay, Baro-Akobo, Omo-Gibe, and Tekeze) receive much rainfall unlike the northeast- (Awash) and east-flowing rivers (Wabishebele and Genale-Dawa) which receive normal to low rainfall. Although it needs further detailed investigation, according to the current knowledge, the country has about 124.4 billion cubic meter (BCM) river water, 70 BCM lake water, and 30 BCM groundwater resources. It has a potential to develop 3.8 million ha of irrigation and 45,000 MW hydropower production. This chapter discusses and presents the water resources of Ethiopia and the different challenges faced by the water sector to contribute to the economic development.

Keywords

  • Ethiopia
  • Surface water
  • Groundwater
  • Irrigation
  • Hydropower

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Acknowledgments

The authors gratefully acknowledge the staffs of Hydrology Directorate, Ministry of Water and Energy, Ethiopia for their full corporation in providing hydrological data. Again, our special thanks to w/o Semunesh Golla, Director of the Directorate of Hydrology, Ministry of Water and Energy for her continuous motivation for such review work on the water resources of the country.

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Correspondence to Belete Berhanu .

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Berhanu, B., Seleshi, Y., Melesse, A. (2014). Surface Water and Groundwater Resources of Ethiopia: Potentials and Challenges of Water Resources Development. In: Melesse, A., Abtew, W., Setegn, S. (eds) Nile River Basin. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-02720-3_6

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