Water management in Mali and Guinea is a major challenge. Both countries are part of the Upper Niger Basin, situated in the Sahel and adjacent dry savanna. Here, water resources are scarce and highly variable within and between years. At the same time, the availability of water is the key driver of development. The Niger and its tributaries are therefore a true lifeline for communities and ecosystems.
Water is needed for the socio-economic development, the production of food and natural resources, and is vital to ecosystems and biodiversity. When water is used upstream for energy and irrigation, less water is available downstream for flooding of the Inner Delta. Hence the great importance of a balanced and integrated water management that takes into account all interests upstream and downstream. In the background pages you can read what IWRM is and which are important indicators for IWRM.
In Mali and Guinea, governments and water institutes have long been working on integrated water management for the Niger. This is an ongoing process with major challenges such as climate change and food security. This website provides information about integrated water management in the Upper Niger Basin and the adjacent Inner Niger Delta (see Topography of the basins). The situation here must be seen in the West African context, in particular the climate zones and the opportunities and limitations that this offers and imposes on land use. Both subbasins of the Niger River cover various climate zones, from the moist savannas in Guinea to the dry edge of the Sahara in Mali.