The Zambezi River Basin: Water and sustainable development, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Zambezi River Basin

Water and sustainable development, 1st Edition

Edited by Jonathan Lautze, Zebediah Phiri, Vladimir Smakhtin, Davison Saruchera


256 pages | 134 Color Illus.

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pub: 2017-08-14
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The Zambezi river is the fourth longest in Africa, crossing or bordering Zambia, Angola, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Mozambique. The river basin is widely recognised as one of the most important basins in southern Africa and is the focus of contested development, including water for hydropower and for agriculture and the environment. This book provides a thorough review of water and sustainable development in the Zambezi, in order to identify critical issues and propose constructive ways forward.

The book first reviews the availability and use of water resources in the basin, outlines the basin’s economic potential and highlights key concerns related to climate vulnerability and risk. Focus is then devoted to hydropower and the water-energy-food (WEF) nexus, sustainable agricultural water management, and threats and opportunities related to provision of ecosystem services. The impact of urbanisation and water quality is also examined, as well as ways to enhance transboundary water cooperation. Last, the book assesses the level of water security in the basin, and provides suggestions for achieving Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6. Throughout, emphasis is placed on entry points for basin-level management to foster improved paths forward.


"There is no analogue to this book to date in how comprehensively the basin’s water resources issues are examined. And for the first time ever, the book explores ways to achieve Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6 at a basin-level, rather than doing this by individual country. Overall, the book examines a set of very pertinent topics for policy and development in the basin.

This book directly contributes to the attainment of the Africa Water Vision 2025 of 'An Africa where there is an equitable and sustainable use and management of water resources for poverty alleviation, socio-economic development, regional cooperation, and the environment'."

From the Foreword by Dr Canisius Kanangire, African Ministers' Council on Water (AMCOW), Nigeria

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Zebediah Phiri, Jonathan Lautze, Vladimir Smakhtin and Davison Saruchera

  3. Availability and Use of Water Resources
  4. Xueliang Cai, Yvan Altchenko and Geoffrey Chavula

  5. The Economic Potential of the Basin
  6. Amaury Tilmant and Regassa Namara

  7. Climate Change Vulnerability and Risk
  8. Richard D. Beilfuss and Charles Nhemachena

  9. Hydropower and the Water-Energy-Food Nexus
  10. Amaury Tilmant

  11. Towards Sustainable Agricultural Water Management
  12. Emmanuel Manzungu, Aidan Senzanje and Justin Mutiro

  13. Ecosystem Services: Opportunities and Threats
  14. Matthew McCartney and Imasiku A. Nyambe

  15. Urbanization, Water Quality and Water Reuse
  16. Munir A. Hanjra, Pay Drechsel and Hillary M. Masundire

  17. Transboundary Water Cooperation: Taking Stock and Looking Forward
  18. Davison Saruchera, Jonathan Lautze, Juliet Mwale, Claudious Chikozho and Osborne N. Shela

  19. The Potential for Subbasin Cooperation in the Shire: A Case for Bottom-Up Institutional Development?
  20. Charlotte de Bruyne, Jonathan Lautze and Jusipbek Kazbekov

  21. Water Security
  22. Davison Saruchera, Jonathan Lautze, Luxon Nhamo and Bunyod Holmatov

  23. Achieving Sustainable Development Goal 6 in the Zambezi River Basin

Lisa Guppy, Manzoor Qadir and Jonathan Lautze

About the Editors

Jonathan Lautze is Senior Researcher at the International Water Management Institute (IWMI), based in Pretoria, South Africa.

Zebediah Phiri is Executive Secretary of the Zambezi Watercourse Commission, based in Harare, Zimbabwe.

Vladimir Smakhtin is Director of the United Nations University, Institute for Water, Environment and Health, in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.

Davison Saruchera is a PhD candidate at the Wits School of Governance, University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa.

About the Series

Earthscan Series on Major River Basins of the World

Large river basins are dynamic and complex entities. Defined by hydrological boundaries, they are nearly always shared by more than one country. Encompassing a diverse range of landscapes with often huge temporal and spatial variability of resources, they are put to different and often conflicting uses, and managed by a range of institutions and organisations. While an intrinsic part of Nature, many have been extensively engineered and used by people, often with adverse consequences. Each major river basin has its own development trajectory and often fascinating history. Bringing together multidisciplinary teams of experts, this series explores these complex issues, identifies knowledge gaps and examines potential development pathways towards greater sustainability.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Development / Sustainable Development
NATURE / Ecology
NATURE / Ecosystems & Habitats / Rivers