The classic elements of a water allocation struggle are in place in the Okavango River Basin; competing demands set against the backdrop of a valuable ecosystem. The Okavango Basin is unique, however, in that this physically remote system has remained unaltered by the massive investment in hydraulic infrastructure, which defined much of the 20 th century. Given this situation, the Okavango Basin States are in a fortunate position to evaluate recent water management innovations alongside traditional physical works and operating strategies.
The Future of Fishing in the Okavango River: Factoring Inland Fisheries into River Basin Planning (Okavango Fisheries) will help define the flow needs of inland fisheries in the main channel of the Okavango River and integrate this information into the overall river basin planning efforts aimed at balancing future ecological, agricultural and urban water demands. Towards that end, this project will identify and apply the most appropriate method for assessing environmental flows for key species in the Okavango fishery.
Key project components will include:
- Identification of fisheries experts in the three riparian countries
- Inventory of fisheries data for the basin
- Analysis of data gaps regarding fisheries resources in the basin
- Analysis to determine appropriate environmental flow methodology for use in the basin
- Workshop draft initial environmental flow requirements based on available fisheries data
- A report describing the process of developing instream flow requirements and their use in river basin planning
Project partners include the Natural Heritage Institute (NHI) based in California, USA; the University of Botswana; the University of California at Davis in California, USA; and the Tellus Institute of the Stockholm Environment Institute based in Massachusetts.
Project Proposal: [download word]
Transboundary Collaborative Learning: Case Study in the Okavango River Basin (Draft)