Conjunctive Water Use as a Solution to Sustainable Economic Development in Lake Chad, Basin, Africa

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Source

Tenth World Water Congress

Inclusive pages

300 - 340


International Water Resources Association

Place of Publication

Melbourne, Australia


Water is an important resource, whose effect is felt more in areas where droughts are of common occurrence. The Lake Chad is an important resource, in the drought prone Sahel region of Africa. It provides a potable source of water either as surface water or ground water through recharge. Lake Chad, acts as a groundwater recharge system, a major fishery zone, supports major livestock, lake farming at very low levels, emergent irrigation farming, medicinal plants and salts, and supports wetlands that are important to both wildlife and people. The lake also serves as international boundary between four nations that share this valuable resource. Attempts to use only surface water for economic developments have failed as evident from the South Chad Irrigation Project (SCIP). The frequent droughts, soil erosion, socioeconomic problems, and increase in population have placed greater pressure on the available water resources of the region. The present estimated population is 21 million, 54% of which is under the age of twenty years old. Current studies include attempts to quantify the recharge of aquifers and the results show the availability of significant quantity of groundwater. The involvement and education of local water and other stakeholders, and the conjunctive use of surface and ground waters would make for sustainable economic development in Lake Chad Basin. Continuos monitoring of the hydrology of the basin, using remote sensing and field data would be vital also to the successful management and achievement of sustainable economic development in the region.


Earth Sciences

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