Vulnerability assessment of water resources systems in the Eastern Nile Basin

Mohamed A. Hamouda, Mohamed M. Nour El-Din, Fawzia I. Moursy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

142 Citations (Scopus)


Planning effective joint development programs in shared river basins is thought to become better when such programs are preceded by integrated studies. This paper aims to provide such a study through a situation analysis with regard to the vulnerability of water resources systems in the Eastern Nile Basin (ENB). The focus was on using internationally recognized indicators and indices that can provide an insight about the situation in the region in a concise and illustrative fashion. A framework for assessing vulnerability of water systems was outlined and applied to the region. Based on a careful survey, a list of 31 indicators used for vulnerability assessment were identified and categorized to separate hydro-physical indicators from other indicators of socio-economic or political nature. The identified indicators were evaluated for the three ENB countries and illustrated in radar diagrams. Interpretations were drawn describing the vulnerability situation in each country. The main findings are: (1) vulnerability of water resources is highest in Sudan, followed by Ethiopia and then Egypt; (2) while vulnerability in Egypt stems mainly from hydro-physical factors; in Sudan and Ethiopia it is directly related to poverty and underdevelopment; (3) Higher stresses on available water resources in Egypt are due to increases in total withdrawals; while in Sudan and Ethiopia it is mainly due to water mal-distribution and quality deterioration; (4) governance factors in the three countries hinder the proper management of the available water resources.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2697-2725
Number of pages29
JournalWater Resources Management
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Eastern Nile
  • Egypt
  • Ethiopia
  • Indicators
  • Integrated assessment
  • Sudan
  • Vulnerability
  • Water systems

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Water Science and Technology


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