'When the water goes down, we remember the games': A photo story on groundwater governance in Ethiopia
- Impact Area
Groundwater is a key source of freshwater for drinking and irrigation that also has important ecological functions. But this common-pool resource is being rapidly depleted in many places around the world, due to the recent availability of cheaper well-drilling technologies and more affordable pumps, as well as rising pressure from climate change and larger populations that consume more nutritious crops and animal-source foods. In Ethiopia’s Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ Region, groundwater resources are generally abundant to support expanding irrigation for agriculture, if managed sustainably. Doing so could lead to better incomes, livelihoods, and nutrition for millions of people. Despite this potential, groundwater recharge might not be sufficient to meet the growing demand as small-scale irrigation becomes more popular.