Integrated Water Resources Management Burkina Faso

Level: Local
Region: Africa
Tags: Integrated Water Resources Management
Target audience: Citizens | Water authorities | Water companies


The Nakanbé River is of great national importance for Burkina Faso, as it provides water supply, irrigation and hydropower to a large population. New reservoirs have been constructed in the basin within the last decade to increase water abstraction, particularly for Ouagadougou, and the total storage capacity in the basin is now more than sufficient to meet present demand.

A MIKE BASIN model of the Nakanbé River basin was established under the GIRE programme. The main objective of the modelling was to enable analysis of water management scenarios concerning reservoir construction and operation so that the consequences of natural and man-made changes in the basin can be predicted. The model was applied to highlight problems on large evaporation losses and inefficient reservoir management, test possible solutions to conflicts, and to identify improvements in the overall management of water resources in the basin.

Further applications included:

  • seasonal forecasting of water storage in reservoirs;
  • identification of optimal rule curves for operation of the Loumbila Reservoir for safe water supply to Ouagadougou; and
  • scenario forecasting of combined utilisation of the new Ziga Reservoir and the Loumbila reservoir.

Results obtained

  • The modelling showed that power production at the Bagré reservoir may be increased significantly by revising the operation of upstream reservoirs, so that evaporation losses are reduced while the water supply and irrigation remain unchanged.
  • The local authorities gained a good understanding and command of the applied technology for water resources planning and management. While the applications clearly showed the potential benefit impact of changes in reservoir operation, they were not, however (at least to our knowledge), implemented by the authorities.

Success factors

  • Demonstration of possible increases in hydropower production without reducing the reliability of water supply to other users
  • Independent application of the modelling tools by associated staff
  • Suitability of applied technology for local authorities for use in overall management of water resources in the basin

Indicators used

  • Annual hydropower production
  • Evaporation losses from reservoirs
  • Modelling capability for local staff

The modelling tools are general and can be applied to any constellation of reservoirs and water users. The pre-condition for repeating the project is the availability of topographical, meteorological and hydrological data of the pilot are.

Toal costs

  • DKK 456,000