Assessment Of Surface Water Resources And Its Allocation: Case Study Of Bahr El-Jebel River Sub-Basin, South Sudan
South Sudan‘s water resource is huge, but is underdeveloped. Only about 27 % of the people have access to improved water supply, and only 15 % have access to improved sanitation. Surface water is the primary source of water with only minimal reliance on utility water. The reliance on surface water in South Sudan is less than other East African countries on average. General understanding of the water resource base on both surface and groundwater, and their interaction is one of the gaps of water resources development in the country. Water resources have not developed in the Bahr el-Jebel sub-basin and there is no formal water allocation practice. In addition, lack of sufficient knowledge about available water resources and currently lack of clear water management in sub-basin is an issue. Knowing the potential, availability and use of surface water in Bahr el-Jebel would help to increase the productivity of agriculture, to improve ways and means of the traditional of water management system. There is therefore a need to understand the water availability and to formulate a tool for planning and decision making in prioritization of water development and allocation in the Bahr el-Jebel sub-basin. The objective of this study was to assess surface water resources potential, and water allocation system within the Bahr el-Jebel sub-basin. To achieve this, GIS technique was used to produce various thematic maps. This study described the use of the Water Evaluation and Planning (WEAP) model to evaluate scenarios of water resource development in the Bahr el-Jebel sub-basin. Water demand was simulated for three different sectors, domestic, livestock and agriculture. Bahr el-Jebel sub-basin is rich with huge quantities of surface water resources an average annual flow estimated as 37.8 BCM. The current utilization of these resources is very limited at the moment is around 1.8 BCM, including domestic, keeping livestock and minor agricultural activities, mainly through rain-fed cultivation. Public Water Allocation as a mechanism that promotes the equitable water use, protects the poor, and sustains environmental needs proposed to apply in this sub-basin. The study, therefore, recommends that integrated and coordinated water resources development strategy is required in Bahr el-Jebel sub-basin.
Keywords - Surface water; Water availability; Water resources; Water evaluation and planning model; Water demand; Water allocation; Bahr el-Jebel;Sub-basin; South Sudan; Uganda.