Status Report on the Implementation of Integrated Water Resources Management in Africa (2018)

This report draws on data submitted by 51 African countries to track the progress of integrated water resources management (IWRM) across Africa.

Primary Functions

  • Understand the degree of implementation of 30 IWRM elements in Africa.

Detailed Description


More than half of global population growth between now and 2050 will happen in Africa. As demands on water increase in Africa to sustain this population growth and all areas of development, and as pollution levels rise, the goal of implementing effective water resources management remains a priority issue.

Constraints on effective water resources management in Africa include rampant poverty and the lack of water control infrastructure. This latter constraint is particularly critical given Africa’s significant variability in rainfall, which is worsening with climate change. The continent’s political instability is a key challenge, since water resources management requires strong political will and sustained longterm efforts to build viable water management institutions and legal frameworks. Other constraints include: low levels of funding to the water sector and specifically for governing water development and management; institutional and human resources capacity gaps at all levels; persisting and deeply rooted gender imbalances; and the marginal roles of the private sector and other non-state actors in water-related decision-making processes.

Implementing integrated water resources management (IWRM) not only supports targets for water security, but also targets related to sustainable agriculture and energy production, sustainable and resilient towns and cities, health and gender equality.

This report is based on data submitted by 51 African countries responding to the global survey to establish the SDG baseline for indictor 6.5.1 on the degree of implementation of integrated water resources management (0–100). This regional report for Africa has been prepared at the request of the African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW). This report focuses on the degree of implementation of 30 IWRM elements, from very low to very high implementation. These elements cover the enabling environment of laws, policies and plans, institutional arrangements and stakeholder participation, management instruments for informed decision-making, and financing for sustainable water management.





Topics & SDGs

WWF Mitigation