The SIXHIARA project, financed by Cooperación Galega through the call for projects, had the objective of institutional strengthening in the field of Geographic Information Systems, hydrogeology and hydrology of the DNGRH team, from ARA-Sul, IP and from ARA-Norte, IP; responsible for the planning and management of water resources in Mozambique. We also collaborated with the rest of the country’s ARAs IP with the support of the Dutch water authorities (DWA) and their Blue Deal project.
Problems posed by the project
The Administrações Regionais de Águas de Moçambique Institutos Públicos (ARAs IP) 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 were also a lack in hydrological studies and analysis, mainly in the area of flooding, water quality monitoring, and the delimitation of river basins and sub-basins.
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 (SIRHA: Inventory), a module for water users and licences (SIRHA: Water Users) and a web viewer (SIRHA: Web Map). The SIRHA Platform also includes tools for gathering information on the ground using a GPS or a mobile phone.
The SIRHA system is a strengthening pillar for the institutions, helping to standardise processes and unify work methodologies. It is implemented at state level in all the ARAs IP 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 (SIRHA, in its Spanish acronym)
A georeferenced hydrological database was designed and implemented for the DNGRH and all the ARAs in the country, as well as a national information system adapted to the needs and methodologies of the ARAs IP and the DNGRH (SIRHA).
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 IP 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 IP and the DNGRH.