This paper argues that six approaches to water management in river basins in Sub-Sahara Africa help ensure the sustainability of water resources utilisation. These are; threshold contingency planning, sectoral demand management, an integrated approach, proportional water sharing, core water provision and capping of the maximum abstraction volume. The latter three of these six are specific to the non-equilibrium hydrological conditions found in such river basins. These conditions arise because groundwater resources are absent due to basement parent rock, and because a highly dynamic climate, which exogenously supplies the river basin, opens and closes the river basin in wet and dry years respectively. For both proportional and core water allocation, steps can be identified that promote these in ways which are cost efficient, transparent and less resilient to subversion.
Paper of Key Note Speech, 1st National Irrigation Conference, Morogoro, Tanzania, 20th to 22nd March, 2001. 5 pp.