This is a previous project site under CGIAR Research Program on Water, Land and Ecosystems (WLE). For more information and current updates, visit the WLE website.

Home > Basin > Nile > Improved planning of large dam operations (PN36)

Full Project Title: Improved planning of large dam operation: Using decision support systems to optimize livelihood benefits, safeguard health and protect the environment (PN36)

Introduction

The livelihoods of large numbers of people are dependent on natural resources and agriculture, both of which may be adversely affected by large dams. The requirements for dams vary both between different stakeholders and over time. Consequently, the planning and operation of large dams requires consideration of many complex and inter-related issues and poses intricate technical and political problems. Under such circumstances decision-making is extremely difficult.

The primary objective of this study was to investigate the applicability of using contemporary decision support systems (DSSs) to improve dam planning and operation through better inclusion of environmental and social (including health) issues in decision-making processes. The research was undertaken primarily in the Nile Basin through a number of case studies.

Research Highlights

Research highlights

  • The most detailed study to date on the likely impact of large dam construction (for irrigation and hydropower) in the Lake Tana catchment on lake levels and the possible environmental and social consequences (Ethiopia).
  • Potentially the first attempt to determine environmental flows in the Blue Nile, specifically in the reach containing the world famous Tis Issat Falls, affected by flow regulation and upstream abstraction for hydropower (Ethiopia).
  • One of the first studies ever to evaluate the effectiveness of follow-up to an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) conducted prior to construction of a large dam in Ethiopia.
Project Outcomes

Project outcomes

  • Inter-institutional collaboration established where professionals from different disciplines e.g. engineering, public health, environmental scientists and social scientists have come together and formed a team and shared knowledge in relation to dam planning and operation.
  • Increased institutional capacity that in the future should influence institutional practices making them more sensitive to environmental and social impacts of dams and how to incorporate these issues in dam planning and operation.
Publications and Outputs

To view all outputs from project PN36 visit our document repository.

Selected publications and outputs

Peer-reviewed papers

  1. Brown, C; Watson, P. 2007. Decision support systems for environmental flows: lessons from southern Africa. International Journal of River Basin Management 5(3) 169-178*.
  2. Dlamini, E.M. 2007. Decision support systems for managing the water resources of the Komati River Basin. International Journal of River Basin Management 5(3) 179-188*.
  3. Egre, D.; Roquet, V.; Durocher, C. 2007. Monetary benefit sharing from dams: a few examples of financial partnerships with indigenous communities in Quebec (Canada). International Journal of River Basin Management 5(3) 235-244*.
  4. Greef, L. 2007. South African multi-stakholder initiative in formulating policy on dams and development. International Journal of River Basin Management 5(3) 189-198*.
  5. Kibret, S.; McCartney, M.P.; Lautze, J.; Jayasinghe, G. 2009. Malaria transmission in the vicinity of impounded water: evidence from the Koka reservoir, Ethiopia. Colombo, Sri Lanka: International Water Management Institute (IWMI Research Report 132) 47 pp.

Project reports

  1. Gebre, A; Getachew, D.; McCartney, M.P. 2007a. Koka stakeholder survey. Project report for CPWF project 36: Improved planning of large dam operation: using decision support systems to optimize livelihood benefits, safeguard health and protect the environment. International Water Management Institute (IWMI).
  2. Gebre, A.; Getachew, D.; McCartney, M.P. 2007b. Chara Chara stakeholder survey. Project report for CPWF project 36: Improved planning of large dam operation: Using decision support systems to optimize livelihood benefits, safeguard health and protect the environment. International Water Management Institute (IWMI).
  3. Hailu, D.; Seleshi, Y. 2005. Field survey report on current practices of dam operation in Ethiopia. Addis Ababa University.
Final Report
Project Partners

Project partners

ARA-SUL, IWMI, MWR-ETHP, SW, UAA, BEEH

Project Lead

Project lead

IWMI

For more information on Phase 1 outputs please contact Udana Ariyawansa.

Tags