This report presents a comprehensive literature review and broad-based analysis of the water resources of the Blue Nile (Abay) River. This work was undertaken as the initial phase in a study to evaluate approaches for improved land and water management in the Ethiopian highlands and assess the likely implications for downstream stakeholders in Sudan. Data and information have been compiled in relation to hydrology, sediment and water use in the basin. Section 1, Introduction, provides a context through the consideration of water resources both in Africa and the whole of the Nile Basin. Section 2, Blue Nile Physiography, presents an overview of the characteristics of the Blue Nile Basin, including a description of the meteorological monitoring network and the availability of historic data. It also reviews the geology, soil and land-use, and land-cover of the basin based on secondary sources. Section 3, Hydrology of the Blue Nile, describes the hydrology of the Blue Nile, including seasonal variation and trends over time. A summary of past hydrological modeling in the Nile and the Blue Nile is also presented. Section 4, Soil Erosion and Sedimentation, focuses on erosion and sediment transport and presents an overview of sediment in the major tributaries, including seasonal variations and trends over time. Section 5, Water Resource Development, reviews existing water resource development in both Ethiopia and Sudan and discusses the future potential with respect to major water uses (i.e., irrigation and hydropower). Section 6, Discussion/ Recommendations, provides a summary of the research methods and models to be used in the study. The reference materials collated and listed at the end of this report provide an important resource for water management and future research to be undertaken in the basin.
Awulachew, S. B.; McCartney, M.; Steenhuis, T. S; Ahmed, A. A. A review of hydrology, sediment and water resource use in the Blue Nile Basin. International Water Management Institute, Colombo, Sri Lanka (2008) 87 pp. ISBN 978-92-9090-699-5 (IWMI Working Paper 131)