E-flows : Nile

Aim and scope of the project: In 2016, Rivers of Life Scientist working with the Nile Basin Initiative prepared a guidance document on e-flows titled, “Nile E-flows Framework Technical Implementation Manual”. This contributed to the development of the Nile e-flows strategy in 2016. In this study, a series of nine coarse or low confident e-flow assessments of important reaches of rivers in the Nile Basin have been undertaken. The aim of the study is to determined the e-flows of these nine reaches of rivers to maintain the ecosystems a near-natural (Class B), moderately modified (Class C) and largely modified but sustainable (Class D) ecological state.  With this data available flows that exceed the Class B can be loosely be attributed to a pristine class (Class A) and flows below the Class D category requirements can be considered to result in an unsustainable ecosystem that is in a Sereverly or critically modified ecological state (Class E or F). Thus the outcomes of the study can be used with low confidence, for planning purposes to evaluate the probable consequences of altered flows for each river considered. In addition, these reduced flows allow for trade-off considerations between the use and protection of the resources evaluated. This data will provide initial information for regional managers of water resources to achieve a sustainable balance between the use and protection of resources in the Nile Basin. The confidence of this coarse assessment should be addressed prior to any developments. 

Client and/or collaborating stakeholders: HYDROC International, Nile Basin Initiative.

Interesting and important outcomes/prospects: The project is being wrapped up and has resulted in the establishment of e-flow requirements for nine sites in the Nile Basin as proposed. The results will provide the control requirements the NBI needs to establish better management plans for the region. The study included the development of blended learning modules that are being presented by the NBI and they will be integrated into undergraduate training in UMP. They include:

  1. Introductory module: environmental flows for the Nile Basin.
  2. Nile E-flows Framework and its application.
  3. E-flow assessment methods.
  4. Holistic e-flow assessments using PROBFLO.
  5. Management of e-flows and water resources on multiple spatial scales, from targets to SDGs.

For more information contact: Gordon.Obrien@ump.ac.za