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Prospects for agricultural water management
The WRD/UNICEF report of 2003 "Eritrea - Planning, management & advocacy tool for rural water resources development" mentions a goal of safe water sources coverage of 60 percent of the rural population by 2015.
Irrigation-related objectives on the 2010 horizon are to add 20 000 ha by the construction of small dams and wells, development of joint irrigation-hydropower schemes, and a survey of the water resources. The WRD also has plans and strategies to introduce cost-effective and environmentally friendly water technologies and sustainable water supply management systems.
Water resources availability does not seem to be the immediate constraint. The problem is mainly the absence of a water policy and effective institutional capacity to manage the water. Another constraint is the lack of legislation to regulate water control in respect of both supply and demand. At present, much of the scarce water is being wasted due to lack of management. One of the challenges of the management will be to cope with the high variability of the availability of resources.