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Almost all major development problems in Ethiopia are water-related: food insecurity, low economic development, recurrent droughts, disastrous floods, poor health conditions, and low energy production. The root cause of these problems is not the lack of adequate water resources, as Ethiopia has an abundance of water, but rather the limited development of this country’s most important resource. This is mainly due to the lack of institutional capacity for managing this precious resource and a shortage of professionals trained in water resource management.
In order to develop and manage these existing water resources in a sustainable manner, expertise and research is needed in water access, water quality, water demand by sector, and the impacts of water resource projects on health and the environment. Sustainable water resources development and management requires new knowledge and applications developed through higher education, research and outreach. Achieving this goal will require new technologies for data collection, a highly trained workforce and institutionalized higher education and research in sustainable water resources which are currently lacking in Ethiopia and elsewhere in Africa.
The Ethiopian Institute of Water Resources (EIWR) was established under the Africa-U.S. Higher Education Initiative to coordinate research, funded by a grant from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), to coordinate research, education, and outreach activities among the partnering universities including Addis Ababa University, the University of Connecticut; Mekelle University, Hawassa University, Arba Minch University, and Bahir Dar University in Ethiopia. We seek to engage additional universities, governmental and non-government organizations, and the private sector to work with us towards accomplishing our goals. See Partnerships for more information on our local partners