Livestock water productivity in the Nile basin

The outputs presented below were created as part of the project 'Livestock Water Productivity in the Nile Basin' of the CGIAR Challenge Program on Water & Food (CPWF). This project aimed to improve food security, reduce poverty and enhance agro-ecosystem health by managing livestock for more effective overall use of water. The project has identified opportunities to increase livestock water productivity (LWP) in key production systems of Ethiopia, Sudan and Uganda through site-specific sets of interventions including improved feed sourcing, enhanced animal production, water conservation, and strategic provisioning of drinking water.

As part of this project, we carried out a basin-wide spatially explicit assessment of livestock water requirements and productivity. To that end we created a spatial model that combined information on livestock distribution, livestock feed and water requirements for the different livestock species and biomass production. The results are described in van Breugel et al. (2010).

To develop and test methods to estimate livestock feed and water requirements, We created FeedWat, a simple excel tool to quickly examine the effect of changes in feed quality, diet, and level of activities on the feed and water requirement of ruminants in the Nile basin. The tool is intended as a 'What-If' tool and allows the user to change all parameters. See the manual for a short explanation how the tool works. The default parameters have not been tested! For real-life estimates, the user will need to adjust the parameters to fit the conditions prevalent in his/her study area. For the Nile basin, van Breugel et al (2010) provide some parameters.


1. Paper & reports

Peden, D., Amede, T., Haileslassie, A., Faki, H., Mpairwe, D., Breugel, P. van and Herero, M.2012. Livestock and Water in Nile Basin. IN: Bekele, S., Smakhtin, V., Molden, D. and Peden, D. (eds.). 2012. The Nile River Basin Water, Agriculture, Governance and Livelihoods. London: Routledge: 154-185.

Amede, T., Descheemaeker, K., Mapedza, E., Peden, D., Breugel, P., Awulachew, S. B., & Haileslassie, A. 2011. Livestock-Water Productivity in the Nile Basin: Solutions for Emerging Challenges. In: A. M. Melesse (ed.) Nile River Basin pp. 297–320. Springer Netherlands, Dordrecht. URL: (open access)

van Breugel, P., Herrero, M., van de Steeg, J., & Peden, D. 2010. Livestock Water Use and Productivity in the Nile Basin. Ecosystems 13: 205–221 [Contact me if you require a copy]

Peden, D., Alemayehu, M., Amede, T., Awulachew, S. B., Faki, H., Haileslassie, A., Herrero, M., Mapezda, E., Mpairwe, D., Musa, M. T., Taddesse, G., & Breugel, P. van. 2009. Nile Basin livestock water productivity. PN37, CGIAR Challenge Program on Water and Food. URL:

Breugel, P. van, Herrero, M., Steeg, J. A. van de, & Peden, D. 2009. Spatial variation and management of livestock water productivity in the Nile Basin. Fighting poverty through sustainable water use: Proceedings of the CPWF 2nd International Forum on Water and Food, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, November 10—14, 2008: Volume I. CGIAR Challenge Program on Water and Food, Colombo, Sri Lanka. URL:

Claessens L., van Breugel P., Notenbaert A., Herrero M. and J.A. van de Steeg. 2008. Mapping potential soil erosion in East Africa using the Universal Soil Loss Equation and secondary data. Sediment Dynamics in Changing Environments (Proceedings of a symposium held in Christchurch, New Zealand, December 2008). IAHS Publ. 325, p. 398-407

Peden, D., Faki, H., Alemayehu, M., Mpairwe, D., Herrero, M., Breugel, P. van, Haileslassie, A., Taddesse, G., & Bekele, S. 2008. Opportunities for increasing livestock water productivity in the Nile River Basin. Proceedings of the Second Nile Basin Development Forum, held at Khartoum, Sudan, November 17-19, 2008. ILRI, Nairobi, Kenya. URL: (online presentation)

2. Presentations

Descheemaeker, K., Masikati, P., van Breugel, P., & Haileslassie, A. 2012. Livestock water productivity in sub-Saharan Africa: Entry points for improvement. Stockholm. Download the presentation.

Peden, D., Amede, T., Bekele. S., Faki, H., Mpairwe, D., Haileslassie, A. and Breugel, P. van. 2011. Livestock development for better water use in the Nile Basin. Presented at the International Congress on Water 2011 Integrated Water Resources Management in Tropical and Subtropical Drylands, Mekelle, Ethiopia, 19-26 September 2011. Nairobi, Kenya: ILRI (see you can see the presentation online)

Claessens L., Temme A.J.A.M., Schoorl J.M., Lesschen J.P., van Breugel P., Notenbaert A., van de Steeg J.A. and M. Herrero. 2009. Modelling potential soil erosion in East Africa in the context of climate change. 7th International Conference on Geomorphology: Ancient Landscapes - Modern Perspectives, 6-11 July 2009, Melbourne, Australia

3. Posters

Karimi, P., Notenbaert, A., Breugel, P. van, & Molden, D. 2009. Production systems and water productivity in the Nile Basin. Poster presentation, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. URL: (see the poster online)

Peden, D., Awulachew, S., Alemayehu, M., Amede, T., Faki, H., Haileslassie, A., Gitau, J., Herrero, M., Mpairwe, D., & Breugel, P. van. 2009. Reclaiming Depleted Nile Water for Life and Livelihoods. Poster presentation, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. URL: (see the poster online)

Peden, D., Haileslassie, A., Mpairwe, D., Taddesse, G., Faki, H., Alemayehu, M., Breugel, P. van, & Amede, A. 2008. Better livestock management enhances agricultural water productivity in the Nile Basin. Poster presentation, Nairobi, Kenya. URL: (see the poster online)