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Total water withdrawal in pre-2011 Sudan was estimated at 27 590 million m│ for the year 2005. The largest water user by far was agriculture with 26 150 million m│. Municipalities and industry accounted for withdrawals of 1 140 million m│ and 300 million m│ respectively. Figures for 2011 for Sudan have been estimated based on the above figures for pre-2011 Sudan, keeping the same total for South Sudan and Sudan together and considering that no essential changes have taken place, that almost all irrigation is located in Sudan (Figure 1), that the population of Sudan is 83 percent of the total population of pre-2011 Sudan and that most (75 percent) of the industries are located in South Sudan (petrol area) (Table 4).
Water used in Sudan derives almost exclusively from surface water resources. Groundwater is used only in very limited areas, and mainly for municipal water supply, but is of critical importance locally. However, extraction data is inexistent. Small water reservoirs fed by rainfall and runoff, also called hafirs, had a crucial role in supplying water for domestic use in villages and to pastoralists in remote areas, in particular in Darfur and Kordofan (UNEP, 2007; WB, 2011). Rehabilitation of these structures is currently taking place to provide a safe source of water for herds during dry season (FAO, 2013b).
Domestic and industrial wastewater is disposed in open pit latrines or ponds. Collective sewage systems exist only in Khartoum (HCENR, 2008).
Disputes over water use, particularly between nomadic pastoralists and settled populations, have become inextricably linked to a wider regional conflict.