A Roadmap to Address Addis Ababa’s Chronic Urban Water Supply is needed: a call for immediate action!

A Roadmap to Address Addis Ababa’s Chronic Urban Water Supply is needed: a call for immediate action!

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WeASPiRE new study addresses Addis Ababa’s chronic water problem and proposes potential solutions. Building on the initial article, the authors explore the issue’s magnitude   and the various ad-hoc “solutions” implemented by residents. In summary, they stress the significant gap between water supply and demand, with only ~40% of current demand being met. Resolving this issue demands a comprehensive approach  involving government authorities at all levels.

This policy paper presents urgently needed measures as a strategic roadmap to comprehensively   address the chronic water shortage in Addis Ababa. The proposed strategy advocates for diversified investment in various water sources, including surface water and groundwater conjunctive utilization, along with interbasin transfers.  Emphasis is placed on the necessities for significant investments in water resource structures to meet both current and future water demand. The paper also recommends integrated and collaborative efforts among the administrations of Addis Ababa City, Oromia State and Federal governments. This collaboration can be achieved through the establishment of a new Water Commission, tasked with planning projects, securing funds, executing major infrastructures, and providing water governance across political and regional boundaries.

The policy paper advocates for proper tariffs to achieve full cost-recovery, crucial for financing operational costs and new infrastructures. It highlights the importance of curtailing water losses to enhance overall efficiency as a key component of the broader solutions. Additionally, the integration of innovative underground storage and recovery technologies is recommended for Addis Ababa, coupled with the establishment of a comprehensive institutional framework. These practices, proven effective in numerous global cities, serve as exemplary benchmarks for sustainable water management.

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Dr. Tirusew Asefa

Dr. Tirusew is the lead for decision support group at Tampa Bay Water, the largest wholesale water supplier in the Southeastern US. He oversees agency work on surface and groundwater resources assessment, supply planning, demand forecast and management, and climate adaptation among other responsibilities. Tirusew is a registered professional engineer with the State of Florida, a Diplomate of the American Academy of Water Resources Engineers, and a Fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers. He currently chairs Florida Water and Climate Alliance. He can be reached at mululove[at]yahoo.com

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Dr. Fekadu Moreda

Dr. Fekadu Moreda is Senior Water Resources Engineer at Research Triangle Institute International. His expertise in hydrology and hydraulic engineering includes building hydrodynamic models, implementing models for flood forecasting, lead water resource assessments, and training water resource managers. Currently, he leads the development and implementation of the Hydrology and Climate for Latin America and Caribbean (Hydro-BID) water resources management simulation system. He can be reached at fmoreda[at]rti.org

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Dr. Edo Abraham

Dr. Edo Abraham leverages his expertise in optimization, control, and systems theory to tackle water & energy challenges in Delft & beyond. Focus areas include managing complex systems like multipurpose reservoirs, irrigation networks, and urban water infrastructure, with a special emphasis on the water-energy-food nexus and Sub-Saharan Africa. He strives to develop practical tools for decision-making, collaborating with stakeholders to advance access, sustainability, and social justice. Previously a researcher at Imperial College London, Dr. Abraham holds a PhD in Control Engineering and an MEng in Electrical & Electronic Engineering. Edo can be reached at e.abraham[at]tudelft.nl