The Awash is a large and complex river basin, home to around 14 million people and many different water users. The basin is an important region for Ethiopia’s economy; its water resources support urban areas, manufacturing, rural households, wetlands, agriculture and pastoralist livelihoods.
Water use in the basin is already high and irrigation schemes are expanding. Manufacturing and agriculture are more concentrated at the upper end of the basin, resulting in pollution and water shortages for the downstream populations, including the agro-pastoralists and pastoralists.
In 2015/16 the Awash basin experienced the worst drought in over 30 years, which had a severe impact on livelihoods, economic productivity and food security in the basin.
Our research will provide new evidence on how water risks, such as drought, slow down a country’s economic growth.
The link between economic growth (mostly upstream in the basin) and the multidimensional poverty experienced by women, men and children associated with these changes in water security (mostly downstream) is not well understood.
We will model the trade-offs between water security for economic development and human development within the basin. Our work will help identify combinations and sequences of investment in water management to support both economic growth and poverty reduction.
Vivid Economics (2016) Water resources and extreme events in the Awash basin: economic effects and policy implications, report prepared for the Global Green Growth Institute, April 2016
REACH (2015) Country Diagnostic Report, Ethiopia. REACH Working Paper 2, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK
University of Addis Ababa: Dr Woldeamlak Bewket, Dr Tassew Woldehanna
University of Oxford: Dr Paola Ballon, Dr Katrina Charles, Dr Simon Dadson, Dr Ellen Dyer, Dr Feyera Hirpa, Professor Richard Washington
Water and Land Resource Centre: Dr Tena Alamirew Agumassie, Dr Elias Tedla Shiferaw, Dr Meron Teferi Taye
© 2017 REACH