Developing national Water Audits on Africa
A Water Audit is one of the tools recommended in the action framework (Phase 1) that can be applied on country or basin level. It provides a country administration or a river basin organization with a comprehensive methodology for assessing, analysing and reporting of the use of scarce water resources. On the supply side, the audit provides information about the water availability. On the demand side, it gives a detailed picture, on how the water is used, for which purpose, and with which value. A detailed assessment of agricultural water use, including its productivity, its value-in-use, and its efficiency during the water use process, gives countries handles to adapt water policies and improve water management plans for the future through strategic interventions to increase their capacity to cope with water scarcity.
The expected outcome of the Water Audit is the development of a tailor made set of tools to assess the status of available water resources and their use, which will provide a sound basis for decision making regarding possible interventions for improved water management in general, and dealing with the agricultural component of water scarcity in particular.
The outputs supporting the above mentioned outcome include, for each basin, a study on the current and projected surface water and groundwater resources availability and demand. This study will lead to a comprehensive report that forms the basis for future country water management and water policy to cope with water scarcity, and a summary report with a compilation of key options for decision makers. This output consists of the following components:
(Click on the labels to view the descriptions)
(+) Component 1
(+) Component 2
An updated land and water resources database, supported by adequately performing water data processing and GIS software and hardware, with personnel trained in its operation and maintenance. This output is a prerequisite for most other activities of the project. It will contain geo-referenced time series on rainfall, river discharges and groundwater levels, base-line information including meteorological and (geo-) hydrological maps, soil maps, land use and land cover maps, irrigation maps, agricultural and gender disaggregated social statistics.
(+) Component 3
A study examining trends of meteorological records, river discharges and ground water levels, providing insight in the extent to which water availability depends of variations in climate. The study includes also an assessment of the performance and effectiveness of the existing water monitoring networks with a view to possible network improvement and rationalization.
(+) Component 4
A water use study for the area, that will include all water use sectors, but the major effort will address agricultural water use assessment. The agricultural water use assessment will involve analyses of the water supply and demand on different spatial scales including field level, scheme level and national level. This component involves several field campaigns to assess the dynamics of water productivity (including yield gap analyses for both irrigated and rainfed agriculture) and water use efficiency at different segments of the agricultural production process.
(+) Component 5
A review on social, political and institutional factors that influence access to water and water services for men and women of different social groups. This review goes beyond the water sector and aims at understanding the dynamics of decision making that influences water management in general and water scarcity in particular. It should provide insight in the (un)equity of water supply and information on the effectiveness of water related legislation and policies. The availability of this document will give insight in the reasons for the existing water management situation and the avenues open for policy review.
(+) Component 6
A spatially distributed water accounting tool, linked to the database (component 1), applied for water resources scenarios including a users' manual and personnel trained in its operation. This output will provide the information needed to evaluate the implications of changes in boundary conditions (population, climate and trade) for the performance of the existing and projected future water management infrastructure.
Based on the components mentioned above, a comprehensive report will be written that forms the basis for future water management and water policy. A summary will be drawn from the comprehensive report that contains a compilation of key policy options for decision makers to address water scarcity and agricultural water management.