The Social Dimension of Water Management in an Era of Increasing Water Scarcity in Tanzania

  • Zebedayo S. K. MvenaEmail author


Tanzania has vast water bodies and rivers as well as substantial underground water reserves. Yet, the country has an inequitable distribution of this vital resource. This calls for a better understanding of the nature of water distribution and use by society both in the short and long term. The paper, therefore, begins by providing an assessment of the water situation in the country, including documentation of the different water sources, namely, rivers, lakes, and underground water. The paper highlights major factors contributing to a decline in water availability, such as inappropriate farming practices and misuse of irrigation waters, extensive or grazing livestock systems, and the domestic use of water. The open violation of government regulations in many areas in Tanzania inhibits the rectification of the water problem in the country. Human activities require a sustainable use of water, including behavioral changes, such as changes in cropping patterns and livestock options, as well as major shifts in eating habits. The paper concludes by highlighting some options for the future as humanity struggles to adapt to climate change. These options include enhanced water use efficiency and climate smart agricultural research to produce outcomes that are better adapted to climate change. Finally, that fact that little attention is given to climate change issues and their impacts on water supply is acknowledged. It is recommended that the government and the scientific community give more attention to these pertinent issues.


Water scarcity Water management Water harvesting Drought resistant crops Water withdrawals Water use efficiency 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Sokoine University of AgricultureMorogoroTanzania

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