IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

How can African agriculture adapt to climate change: Integrated management of the Blue Nile Basin in Ethiopia under climate variability and climate change hydropower and irrigation modeling: Hydropower and irrigation modeling


  • Block, Paul J.
  • Strzepek, Kenneth M.
  • Rajagopalan, Balaji


Ethiopia possesses abundant water resources and hydropower potential, yet less than 5 percent of irrigable land in the Blue Nile basin has been developed for food production, and more than 80 percent of Ethiopians lack access to electricity. Consequently, the Ethiopian government is pursuing plans to develop hydropower and irrigation along the Blue Nile River in an effort to tap into this underused potential. Although approximately 84 percent of the inflow to Lake Nasser at Aswan, Egypt, initiates from Ethiopia through the Blue Nile and Atbara Rivers, Ethiopia has limited rights to use these resources. Egypt and Sudan, through the Agreement of 1959, are allotted 55.5 and 18.5 billion cubic meters each year, respectively, with no allotment to Ethiopia. In 1998 the Nile Basin Initiative was created to stimulate cooperation among all countries in the Nile basin and work toward amicable alternatives and solutions for water resources benefits. This brief is based on a paper that analyzes potential hydropower generation and irrigation supply for four large-scale dams and reservoirs along the Blue Nile River within Ethiopia—Karadobi, Mabil, Mendaia, and Border—as proposed by the United States Bureau of Reclamation in 1964. The total installed hydropower capacity would be 5,570 megawatts of power, about 2.5 times the potential of the Aswan High Dam in Egypt. Irrigation associated with the Mendaia and Border reservoirs could expand by 250,000 hectares or 35 percent of the estimated total irrigable land in the Blue Nile basin. The challenges of implementation, however, are not inconsequential. The proposed reservoirs not only raise financing, investment, political, and institutional challenges, but may also require many years to fill, which will affect downstream flows depending on variable climate and climate change conditions. Using a model for hydropower and irrigation analysis, the paper explores dam implementation viability under various policy options." from text

Suggested Citation

  • Block, Paul J. & Strzepek, Kenneth M. & Rajagopalan, Balaji, 2008. "How can African agriculture adapt to climate change: Integrated management of the Blue Nile Basin in Ethiopia under climate variability and climate change hydropower and irrigation modeling: Hydropowe," Research briefs 15(14), International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  • Handle: RePEc:fpr:resbrf:15(14)

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:,24472
    Download Restriction: no

    More about this item


    Integrated water resource management; Irrigation; Hydropower; Climate variability; Food and water security; Climate change;

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:fpr:resbrf:15(14). See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.