Emergence and Evolution of Endogenous Water Institutions in an African River Basin

Local Water Governance and State Intervention in the Pangani River Basin, Tanzania

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Water management challenges in basins of Sub-Saharan Africa and in other parts of the world are increasing due to rapid urbanisation, poverty and food insecurity, energy demands, and climate change. Nearly half of the world population live in cities, and this is estimated to reach two-thirds of the world's population by the year 2050. The need to improve water services in cities poses new challenges to river basin management. Water transfer from other sectors to cities is an obvious way of reallocating the uses and users of the available water but this may have far reaching upstream-downstream consequences in a catchment. In addition there is an increasing trend in rural poverty, hunger, and food insecurity in Sub-Saharan Africa. To reduce and/or reverse the increasing trend of rural poverty and generate employment requires substantial investment in irrigated agriculture in Sub-Saharan Africa. However, transforming Sub-Saharan Africa's agriculture also implies intervention in water control as lack of access to reliable water supply is one of the major limitation to crop production. Coupled with the above problems are the rising global food and energy prices which have attracted foreign investment in agricultural land in Sub-Saharan Africa. Foreign direct investment in agriculture in Sub-Saharan Africa is likely to increase agricultural water use and this could lead to further enhancement of an already stressed water situation.