The SIXHIARA project, financed by Cooperación Galega through calls for projects, aims to strengthen institutions in the areas of geographic information systems, hydrogeology and hydrology for the teams at DNGRH, ARA Sul and ARA Norte, which are responsible for the planning and management of water resources in Mozambique. At the moment, the other ARAs in the country are also receiving collaboration thanks to the support of Dutch Water Authorities (DWA) and its Blue Deal project.
Problems posed by the project
The Administrações Regionais de Águas de Moçambique (ARAs) are the agencies responsible for water management and planning in Mozambique, with a work area spanning 100,000-200,000 km2. Their main function is the operational management and protection of water resources (hydrological plan, water registry, waterworks, hydrological data and water policing).
Managing water resources properly requires a thorough knowledge of the same, a global vision at territorial level and constant updating of the data.
During project identification, inconsistencies were detected in the time series of hydrological data, a low quality of geographic information or complete lack thereof for most of the inventory, as well as a deficit in methodologies and tools for sharing information between the different departments in the ARAs. For these reasons, the information was not uniform, was not standardised and in many cases there were duplications and errors.
It was also detected that the methodologies for sharing information among the regional administrations and the National Directorate were manual processes, highly dependent on the people performing each task, which generated many errors.
There was also a lack of studies and models, mainly in the areas of flooding, water quality monitoring and demarcation of hydrographic basins, which caused damage and illness in Mozambique’s population.
And how we solved them
To solve existing information management problems a system of national information was developed and implemented. The system was formed of a water resource geographic database and three work modules: an inventory module (SIRH: inventory), a module for water users and licences (SIRH: users) and a web viewer (SIRH: web viewer). The system also includes tools for gathering information on the ground using a GPS or a mobile phone.
The SIRH system is a strengthening pillar for the institutions, helping to standardise processes and unify work methodologies. It is currently being implemented in all the ARAs in the country.
Furthermore, with the support of the GEAMA group and Amphos 21, different studies on floods and water quality were carried out, particularly in the north of the country. These were the cornerstones of the work:
1. WATER RESOURCE INFORMATION SYSTEM (SIRH, in its Spanish acronym)
A georeferenced hydrological database was designed and implemented for the DNGRH and the five ARAs in the country, as well as a national information system adapted to the needs and methodologies of the ARAs and the DNGRH (SIRH).
2. TECHNICAL STUDIES AND INVENTORY OF WATER RESOURCES AND LICENCES
A water resource inventory was created, which included areas for protection and water users (licences and concessions) for each of the ARAs in the country. Together with the DNGRH, we designed the official demarcation of all the hydrographic basins in Mozambique.
In addition, several studies were carried out: water demand for crops, floods (northern part of the country), and a hydrogeology and water quality study was conducted on the aquifers of the town of Pemba.
3. KNOWLEDGE TRANSFER AND OUTREACH
Training was provided on geographic information systems and the use of SIRH, as well as for carrying out technical surveys.
Other outreach activities were conducted with the ARAs and the DNGRH.