ADDIS ABABA (June 29, 2021)—World Resources Institute published a technical note detailing a baseline model for mapping water risks in Ethiopia. This model can be used to help decision-makers in Ethiopia incorporate water and water-related climate risk information into development decisions and planning across sectors.

Following is a statement from Aklilu Fikresilassie, Director, Thriving Resilient Cities, WRI Africa & Representative of WRI in Ethiopia, World Resources Institute:

"Ethiopia is naturally exposed to highly variable rainfall and recurrent climate shocks. Recognizing the risks that come with that reality is critical for sustainable development and human well-being, especially in light of growing water demands and climate uncertainty.

This baseline water risk model can make decision-makers aware of water availability data when they engage in development decisions and planning. This model supports scenario-building related to sectoral development, impact of climate change, and water use. The model results and water risk maps will also help facilitate communication between line ministries and contribute to ongoing monitoring activities such as Sustainable Development Goal 6.4.2.

The model results highlight the importance of developing water stress mitigation strategies, such as improving irrigation efficiency. It also closes knowledge gaps and addresses data challenges so effective water resource management and sustainable development can occur.

As is the case with most models in water resources, this baseline water risk model is constrained by data availability and accessibility limitations. While the model provides valuable insights for water resources managers, planners, and decision-makers, closing the data gap to improve the information the model generates is vital.

This model is intended to support sectoral development plans in Ethiopia. It is important to recognize that the model is not designed to support any trans-basin, trans-regional, or transboundary discussions.

We hope the baseline water risk assessment will help Ethiopia’s effort to incorporate water and climate considerations into long-term development plans. Taking account of water availability in planning will safeguard Ethiopia’s robust economic gain of the past decade and ensure sustainable development in the future."