Feasibility Of Two Fresh Water Supply Techniques In Sudan

2056 words - 9 pages



Access to clean water is considered a basic human right and in many countries when sustainable development is considered, water is at the top of the list of priorities (Omer, 2008). The value of water is increasingly felt in areas such as Sudan, where precipitation is inadequate while temperatures are high resulting in dry or arid conditions (Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), cited in USAID, 2010). Two-thirds of the country is arid and rainfall is less than 400mm annually. Regardless of the fact that about 60% of Sudan lies within the Nile basin, it only draws 18.5x109 m3 from the Nile’s annual flow ...view middle of the document...

Sudan is in North-Eastern Africa and it borders the Red Sea, between Egypt and Eritrea and occupies 1,861,484 km2 (CIA, 2011). With a population of 25,946,220, the majority of whom are centred around the Nile (Omer, 2008), and a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita of USD 2,800, (CIA, 2011) it is an extremely poor country that has faced years of social conflict and civil war and only in the past year, been separated from South Sudan through a referendum that passed in favour of secession of South Sudan (ibid).
In addition to its earnings from oil resources, agriculture forms a large part of Sudan’s economy and accounts for about 80% of the workforce, contributing to a third of the GDP (CIA, 2011). As such, water is of the essence in Sudan because in addition to being used for human and animal consumption, it drives an important economic activity. According to FAO (2005,cited in Omer, 2008), projections to the year 2020 show that agriculture in Sudan will require 69% of the country’s water supply while industrial and hydropower activities together with potable needs will require 18% and 13% respectively.
Under the 1959 Nile Waters Agreement, Sudan shares the Nile’s resources with nine other countries; Burundi, Congo, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda (Omer, 2008). This means that though it has a large resource at its disposal, it cannot exploit it beyond what is dictated in the agreement and needs to supplement its fresh water supply.

3.1 Desalination
Desalination is a process of purifying saline water that involves using energy to separate the saline seawater into two streams; a fresh water stream that has dissolved salts in low concentration and a stream with concentrated salt levels or brine (Khawaji et al, 2008). The three most commonly used methods of desalination are; multieffect distillation (MED), multi-stage flash (MSF) and reverse osmosis (RO). These modern processes can trace their history to the traditional method of removing salt from salty water by evaporation (Lattemann et al, 2010).
3.2 Water recycling
Water recycling refers to treating of waste or used water to make it potable and also fit for irrigation and other domestic uses. The two principal methods used to recycle water are the microfiltration (MF) and reverse osmosis (RO) (Drewes et al, 2003).

The two options mentioned above will be analyzed against a backdrop of the following requirements:
5.1 Cost
For Sudan, which is a poor developing country with a GDP of USD 2,800 per capita (CIA, 2011), cost is a major consideration when looking for a water management technique and an expensive option would not be viable.
5.2 Social Acceptance
Islam, the predominant religion in Sudan (CIA, 2011), has beliefs that emphasise the importance of water as an agent for purification and though recycling of water is acceptable (Farooq et al,...

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