The River Nile Water is the lifeblood for 180 million people who live in the river basin. Nile water supports hydropower, agriculture, navigation, and a multitude of ecosystem services all essential for economic growth, poverty reduction, and stability in the region.

The region has the potential for rapid growth, and many individuals, communities, companies, and countries have high hopes that the Nile waters can support growth and prosperity. While the future expectation of what the Nile can deliver to its people is extremely high, in fact the resource is limited, and there is a real danger that ill-planned development can lead to degradation and conflict.

This book by Assefa M. Melesse covers a range of biophysical issues important for the Nile basin: water budgets of the major lakes, satellite rainfall data, climate variability, tradeoffs in water use and productivity, and water scarcity.

Two of the chapters are contributed by scientists working in the Nile BDC:

Livestock-water productivity in the Nile Basin: Solutions for emerging challenges by Tilahun Amede and colleagues provides a framework to improve returns from water investments through: (i) provision of sufficient watering points for livestock across the basin; (ii) improving water productivity through promoting water-saving technologies, ensuring system integration and control of transboundary flux of livestock diseases; and (iii) formulating participatory basin scale regulatory frameworks on water use and sharing. It also argues that improving water productivity through integrated technological, policy and institutional interventions offers an opportunity for smallholders in both upstream and downstream countries to adapt to climate and market risks.

Hydrological water availability, trends and Allocation in the Blue Nile Basin by Matthew McCartney and colleagues provides an overview of the basin characteristics, hydrology and hydrological variability of the Blue Nile, as well as a brief evaluation of the current and future status of water resource development and implications for water availability.