The topic of this essay is to relate the concept of integrated water management and decision support to an example of my country, including an example of how decisions are actually made.
About 71% of earth surface is water covered, the ocean holds 95% of earth’s water (http://water.usgs.gov/edu/earthhowmuch.html) yet there is not enough water in some parts of the world. The rise in demand for good portable drinking water, irrigation water, domestic and industrial water all came up due to the growing population especially in the Africa and Asian continent (UNDP 2006). Water will continue to be in expectancy due to some environmental concerns like wildlife and aquatic life for recreational purposes. However, the theory for theory for integrated water management was never new and can be seen in Rahamana and Varis (2005); equally a strong definition of IWM was given by technical advisory committee of global water partnership (GWP-TEC 2000) As a process which promotes the coordinated development and management of water, land and other related resources in order to maximize results economically and social welfare in an equitable manner without compromising the sustainability and the ecosystems. Furthermore, in providing adequate supplies of good water, precaution should be taken into consideration in order the preserve hydrological, biological and chemical activities of the ecosystem. Therefore we can draw a brief summary of IWM as putting together social economic and environmental issues, including adopting human activities within the capacity time fame of nature (Gumbo, B. and Van der Zaag 2001); as well as tackling water related diseases and coming into terms with change of climate (Wood, S. et al 2000).
Nigeria water sector will be used as a case study in this essay of which I am a citizen of the country by birth. This essay will outline how decision are actually made in management of river basin in Nigeria and will possibly come out with a solution of how to remedy some areas that are not well managed and a personal conclusions.
2 The Nigeria Water sector
Nigeria has about eleven river basin development authorities, created in 1976, by the Federal Government to harness the country’s water resources and optimize the country’s agricultural resources. The RBDAs includes the Sokoto-Rima basin, Hadejia-Jamaare basin, the Lake Chad basin, upper Benue basin, lower Benue basin, the cross river basin, Anambra-Imo basin, the Niger-Delta basin, Benin-Owena basin, the Niger basin and the Oshun-Ogun basin (Ewash 2009).
Nigeria as a nation covers 0.924*106 km2 on landmass (Ita, 1994) with four major drainage basin areas the lower Niger, the lake Chad basin, the river basin of Cross and Imo and the southwestern drainage basins (Federal ministry of water resources 2003a, b). Nigeria is blessed with water resources, its surface and ground water resources are estimated at 250*109 m3 (Federal Republic of Nigeria, 2001). The annual rainfall varies from over 4,000mm in the southeast to bellow 250mm in the northeast and conditioned to temporal variations (Federal Republic of Nigeria 2004), it implies that precipitation is about 1177mm annually.
Most of the problems facing water management in Nigeria are lack of experts, especially in the technical side. The nonchalant attitude and poor funding shown in water sector has increased the low performance which can be witnessed all over the country. The lack of appropriate work force in Nigerian water sector has been perpetrated by the introduction of tribalism and quota system (FCC 19969); there by sidelining the professionals with adequate experience. Unfortunately this type of method has not yielded desired results in the sector. Therefore the need for change in strategy arises for the real caliber of people to manage the various schemes, without constant break down of water sector that we now experience in the country.
Accesses to water in some regions are still very low despite the large available water resources in the country (Federal Republic of Nigeria). The number of investment in water sector is not encouraging when compared to the population growth and rapid expansion of many cities. The development of dams and irrigation in the country are not encouraging as most of this dams and lakes build in the past are underutilized while some have been abounded (YallAfrica 2012).
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