Farmland on a steep forested slope overlooks Lake Kivu, Rwanda beneath an overcast sky

Photo: Marc Guitard / Getty Images

The Rwanda Water Resources Board contacted the 2030 Water Resources Group (2030 WRG) to support a Hydro-economic and climate change analysis (HECCA) to identify concrete opportunities for investment in a more water secure future for Rwanda, as well as determine how the private sector can contribute.

While Rwanda is likely to have sufficient water to meet its economic targets, water scarcity risks holding back Rwanda’s development without effective planning to address seasonal and geographic variability as well as uncertainty caused by climate change. Rwanda needs more structured investment planning and water allocations across water catchments and economic sectors – specifically agriculture – to meet growing demand and ambitious goals. The country will face difficulty sustaining high growth without greater private sector engagement and investment.

SEI researchers used the flagship Water Evaluation and Planning (WEAP) software to simulate where water supply is expected to fall short over time. WEAP reviewed Rwanda’s water supply and demand to identify potential scarcity and conflict between different users.

An economic analysis then evaluated the economic implications of how WEAP simulations allocate water throughout the country.

This research informs the work of the Rwandan government’s newly established multi-stakeholder platform for water resources management, where government, civil society and private sector parties will generate economic development solutions that place water at their centre.