Abstract

The storage of groundwater in the Nile Basin has been assessed in order to inform its potential role in community development and sustainable growth in the basin, where hydropolitics is critical among upstream and downstream countries. It is a well-known fact that water management activities in the basin focus on the surface water resources, with less or no attention to the groundwater, while the majority of urban and rural communities rely on groundwater for day-to-day activities. The results show that downstream countries (Egypt and Sudan) have considerable groundwater storage as a result of favourable geological formations (sedimentary rocks), while upstream countries (Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Burundi and Rwanda) are underlain by crystalline basement and volcanic rocks with low groundwater productivity. The available groundwater in the shallow and deep (transboundary) aquifers requires holistic development and management by stakeholders across the borders in order to sustainably adapt to changing climate in the basin and shift the dependence pattern on the Nile River for water supply.

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