Case Study.2020

Foundations for Source-to-Sea Management: Lake Hawassa sub basin

Ruth Mathews
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Ruth Mathews
Senior Manager,
Water Cooperation and Diplomacy

Based on experience from Lake Hawassa Sub-Basin in Ethiopia, this report provides insights on how the source-to-sea approach can be applied and how it can benefit stakeholders at all levels. It also provides recommendations for future actions.

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Lake Hawassa is the endpoint of an endorheic hydrological system, with limited groundwater outflow. Erosion has increased dramatically, largely due to expansion of agriculture and sand mining, and has resulted in the loss of neighbouring Lake Cheleleka. Plastic pollution to the lake is also growing alongside increases in population and use of plastic products in the region.

The closed nature of the sub-basin allows the application of the source-to-sea (or in this case, source-to-lake) approach to be used to address some of the bottlenecks that are inhibiting appropriate sediment and solid waste management in the basin. The report describes the approach, its outcome, and discusses potential challenges and how to address them.

The Lake Hawassa Sub-Basin project is one of two pilot projects, conducted by SIWI and funded by the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development.