Water resource management in Sudan faces a number of diverse challenges from
overuse and depletion of aquifers in central and northern parts of the country,
to potential contamination from industrial and urban waste. In Darfur, water
resources have been severely stressed as a result of the effects of the conflict.
Some areas are facing chronic depletion of water resources year-on-year
and are running dry.
UNEP in its Post-Conflict Environmental Assessment in 2007 made recommendations
centred on developing Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) approaches in
Sudan. Today, water resource management is one of the largest components of
UNEP’s programme in Sudan.
On a practical level, UNEP is working with the UN WASH cluster and government
authorities to monitor and mitigate the depletion of groundwater in Darfur’s IDP
camps and the larger towns. UNEP is working with the Ministry of Irrigation and
Water Resources in monitoring 23 locations where groundwater is potentially
vulnerable in a strategy laid out in the 2008 report,
The case for drought preparedness.
Other key elements include:
- Study tours enabling knowledge exchange between Sudanese and
South African approaches to IWRM;
- Advocacy and brokering funding for improving efficiency of
urban water supplies in Darfur;
- Collaboration with UNOPS in the construction of rural rainwater
harvesting projects. UNEP is undertaking environmental and social
screening for these schemes;
- Developing community based drought preparedness plans for IDP
camps with vulnerable water resources;
- UNEP is supporting the Darfur International Water Conference
on 27-28 June 2011; and
- Providing support for groundwater monitoring of 200 wells.