The Ministry of Water and Energy was established in 2010 by the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia (FDRE) proclamation number 691/ 2010.
The ministry has ever since been making efforts to achieve the target set in the Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP) for the water and energy sector of which major ones are: potable drinking water and sanitation programs, irrigation and drainage development studies, design and construction, river basin and master plan studies, and energy development such as hydropower and alternative energies from solar, wind and bio-fuel as well.
Ethiopia will be a model of excellence in water resources development utilization and renewable energy hub in East Africa by 2015.
Play a significant role in the socio-economic development of Ethiopia through development and management of its water and energy resources in a sustainable manner, through provision of quality and equitable supplies in the entire country and by contributing significantly to the food security and foreign currency earning.
The Ministry of Water and Energy of Ethiopia has the following Mandate and Responsibilities:

  1. Promote the development of water resources and energy;
  2. Undertake basin studies and determine the country’s ground and surface water resource potential in terms of volume and quality, and facilitate the utilization of same;
  3. Determine conditions and methods required for the optimum and equitable allocation and utilization of water bodies that flow across or lie between more than one regional States among various uses and the regional States;
  4. Undertake studies and negotiation of treaties pertaining to the utilization of boundary and trans-boundary water bodies, and follow up the implementation of same;
  5. Cause the carrying out of study, design and construction works to promote the expansion of medium and large irrigation dams;
  6. Administer dams and water structures constructed by federal budget unless they are entrusted to the authority of the relevant bodies;
  7. In cooperation with the appropriate organs, prescribe quality standards for waters to be used for various purposes;
  8. Support the expansion of potable water supply coverage; follow up and coordinate the implementation of projects financed by foreign assistance and loans;
  9. Undertake studies concerning the development and utilization of energy; and promote the growth and expansion of the country’s supply of electric energy;
  10. Promote the development of alternative energy sources and technologies;
  11. Set standards for petroleum storage and distribution facilities, and follow up the enforcement of same;
  12. Issue permits and regulate the construction and operation of water works relating to water bodies referred to in paragraph (c) and (d) of this sub-article;
  13. In cooperation with the appropriate organs, determine the volume of petroleum reserve and ensure that it is maintained;
  14. Ensure the proper execution of functions relating to meteorological service.

Our country had been in dire conditions before 1991. Due to less attention given to the water sector many million people were exposed to numerous socio-economic problems. Water problem has been no exception. Nevertheless, after the EPRDF took power in May 1991 and a national water management policy implemented, considerable achievements have been registered. Several potable drinking water service institutions were built throughout the country. Many people in the rural and urban have therefore become beneficiaries of the water supply services. In doing so, time and labor that have been lost and wasted in search of water have become saved so that they invest their time and labor for development.  Furthermore, with the expansion of water supply services water borne diseases have become extinct or become under control.
Before 1991, the national water usage of the country stood below 20 percent. Since then, however, due to government heightened attention for the sector the national water access by 2012/2013 fiscal year reached 61.6 percent. Similarly, the rural water supply access has increased to 58.71 percent and 80.72 percent for urban respectively.
According to the GTP plan, a household in the rural area has to have a supply of about 15 liters of safe water per person per day in 1.5 km radius. Similarly, the GTP defines the clean water supply for urban dwellers-20 liters of potable water per person per day within a 0.5 km radius. Based on this plan, 29, 678, 721 people living in the rural are expected to become beneficiaries of safe drinking water by 2015. Similarly, 3, 613, 216 urban people will be benefitted of the safe drinking water program by the end of the GTP period, in aggregate the number of potable drinking water beneficiaries amounting to 33, 291,937.
In the two and half years period of the GTP it was stated that 16.5 million rural and 1.7 million urban people would become clean drinking water beneficiaries, in aggregate benefitting 18.2 million people.
To achieve goals set, for the two and half years of the GTP, of which major works are: water schemes construction of 26, 739 hand dug wells; 7372 medium-deep water wells; 7,212 spring developing works, 880 deep-dug water wells; 335 water harvesting ponds; 545 rain water and surface drinking water tankers; 1968 rural piped water system construction, in aggregate 44, 194 water schemes and new water schemes construction and expansion and rehabilitation works for 328 towns. Of these plans, 11, 935 hand-dug wells; 2,968 hand pump medium deep water wells; 8, 032 developed springs; 377 deep dug water wells; 785 rural piped water systems; 153 rain harvesting works and 70 old water institutions expansion works have been completed. Overall, 24, 320 water schemes have been built for the rural people.
Moreover, more than 8, 896 old rural water service schemes have been maintained and went operational. In a similar fashion, new water facilities and services have been constructed and rehabilitation and expansion work has also been completed for 84 towns.
All in all, 11.1 million rural and 1.1 million urban populations, in aggregate 12.2 million people have got access to clean drinking water supply from newly constructed and rehabilitated services of water supply schemes.
The performance of the last two and half years is quite encouraging for the reason that it is possible to reach at the targets set by the ministry. The target plan set for the two and half year of the GTP period was to make 18.2 million people beneficiaries of clean drinking water of which 16.5 million is in the rural and 1.7 million in the urban respectively. When the actual performance compared with the GTP, 68 percent of the plan in the rural and 73.5 percent of the urban have been achieved, and the national is 68.6 percent.
Meanwhile, national water-sanitation hygiene (WASH) inventory has been carried out in 2010 to alter the traditional water and sanitation hygiene database system and fill the gap observed in the accuracy of the WASH data of the country as a whole. The inventory was funded by the government and development partners and involved survey of over 93, 000 rural water supply schemes,1400 urban water supply schemes, 20, 000 rural health centers and 30, 000 schools and interviews with 12 million households. In the survey, regional water, mine and energy resource development bureaus, ministries of health, education, and central statistical agency experts have participated. Massive scale of work has been done so far and a lot has also to be done in the future to make the functionality of water supply services and institutions more sustainable. Thus, monitoring and evaluation system of the WASH sector is in place and work has been under going to interconnect the weredas water supply schemes. 
According to the inventory carried out, it has been confirmed that the national water access had reached 61.6 percent (52, 221, 481 beneficiaries) until late 2012/13 or the first six months of 2005 Eth. C., with the rural water access reaching 58.71 percent (43, 360, 399 beneficiaries) and 80.72 percent (8, 861, 086 beneficiaries) for the urban water access, respectively.
Ethiopia has a potential of 5.3 million hectare arable land that can be cultivated through irrigation water. Considering the land and water resources potential the country has, massive volume of works have been undergoing by the ministry. With a view to ensuring food security both family-wise and nationally and to further increase agricultural outputs and earn foreign currency, the Ministry of Water and Energy has been working hard studying, designing and developing various irrigation schemes in the country.
Before 1991, irrigation development in the country was almost non-existent. No policies and strategies were introduced by which it would be guided. Though there were few, their capacity level has been minimal. There were no more than 61, 000 hectare of land developed through irrigation during Derg regime. After 1991, with great emphasis made for irrigation by the government, significant changes have been observed. Policies and strategies were devised and national and foreign investors have been encouraged to engage in the irrigation development projects.
 By the end of 2009/10, national irrigation coverage stood on 2.4 percent. Up until the first year of the GTP, the area of land that had been developed through irrigation reached 127, 242.6 hectares. Planned growth of irrigation by the end of 2015 is 15.4 percent. In the GTP period, large and medium scale irrigation schemes are expected to be constructed. To boost the irrigation land coverage to 785,582.6 hectares, many more works are being done by the ministry. In the period, as has been indicated earlier, irrigation studies and design for 746, 334 hectare, and incorporating 658,340 hectares of land into irrigation schemes have been planned. Accordingly, over the past two and half years of the GTP, the performance of the ministry indicates that the study and design has been finalized for 473,225 (97.37%) hectare of land and 148,836 (38.%) hectare have been constructed out of a plan 486,008,5 and 390,702 hectare respectively.
Generally, up until the first six months of 2012/2013 fiscal year, 276, 078, 6 hectares of land have been developed through medium and large scale irrigation schemes. On the other hand, several irrigation development projects are under construction, among those to mention few: Kesem-Tendaho, Koga, Rib, Gidabo, Megech-Sereba, Kobo-Girana, Raya-Azebo, and Adea- Betcho. This has increased the overall irrigation coverage growth from 2.4 to 7.34 percent.
Besides making use of our water resources for drinking and irrigation purposes, the ministry is highly mobilizing its full capacity towards tapping the water-energy potential of the country. It is understandable that to increase energy access and meet the energy needs of the growing population and industry giving due attention for the sector is highly important. Efforts are being exerted to fully exploit the resources for energy production. Therefore, hydro power generating plants have been built over the past two decades in order that Ethiopia will be able to earn foreign currency and become a renewable energy hub in East Africa.
Ethiopia has exploitable hydropower potential of 45,000 MW from water; 1.3 million MW of wind generating capacity, and more than 7,000 MW of producing geothermal energy. Until 2010, the overall production of electricity has remained 2,000 MW. But, with expansion works, by now (2012/13), electricity production reached 2, 117MW.
Moreover, 11,606 km stretch of power transmission lines and the construction of 157,297km distribution lines completed; with the likes of European standard 400 kV and 855 km capacity power transmission lines was also built.
In 2012/13, there was a plan to increase the power production capacity of the country into 2850 MW. Similarly, there has been a plan to increase the access of electricity coverage into 60 percent from 41 percent of 2010. As a result, until late 2012/13, it has become possible to attain 2,177 MW energy productions, with the national electric access growth reaching 49 percent. In the two and half years of GTP, electric power plants have gone operational. Fincha Amerti Neshe hydropower with production capacity of 97MW, Ashagoda wind farm with energy generating capacity of 120 MW out of which 30 MW went operational, and the first phase of Adama I wind farm with a capacity of 51 MW energy productions has started work.
The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam has also a capacity of generating 6,000 MW electricity when it is completed. Since its inception in March 2011, the overall performance of the project within two year time reached 19.6 percent. Similar growth is observed in the Gibe III hydro power project. Until April month of 2013, 72 percent of the total work has been completed.
Furthermore, Genale-Dawa, Gibe III, Halele Werabesa, Geba, Chemoga-Yeda and Aluto Geothermal power generating plants construction are being accelerated.  In the Growth and Transformation Plan period, there are plans to scale up the access of electricity from 2000MW in 2009/10 to 10, 000 MW by 2015. Various efforts have thus been exerted over the past few years to generate electricity from solar, wind and bio-fuel sources. Ethiopia National electricity access is, therefore, expected to increase by five-fold and reach 75 percent by 2015 from 41 percent in 2010.
The objective of river basin study is to identify the natural resources of the country in type and quantity and prepare a well-studied master plan for better utilization and development of the country’s resources. Studies indicate that Ethiopia is endowed with vast water resources, in which 122.8 billion cubic-meters is surface water and 40 billion cubic meters is ground water.
Ethiopia has 12 major river basins out of which eight river basins master plan studies are completed. In the Growth and Transformation Plan period the remaining river basins master plan studies are expected to be completed.
In the five years plan of GTP, it was planned to raise the organizational capacity of the basins authority from 25 percent of 2010 to 63 percent by 2015. Additionally, it is aimed to improve the livelihood of the society by developing 1,000,000 hectare of degraded land through integrated river basin approach such as watershed management, and water and soil conservation. Over the last two and half year of the GTP, the organizational and set up works of the Abay and Rift Valley Lakes Basin Authority were completed. Meanwhile, the studies for organizational set up works for the Omo and Tekeze River Basin Authorities were completed. Tekeze, Gilgel Gibe I and II power generating dams basin development studies are completed and implementation has begun. As a result, the volumes of works to establishing the basins authorities 52 percent have been completed by 2013 from 25 percent in 2010.
Integrated river basin activities have been undertaken on 253, 968 (61%) hectare of lands in the upper Kesem-Mile-Dirma, surrounding Tana and Western Ziway lake sub basin out of the planned performance of 416,133 hectare.
Ethiopia has a potential of 23 million hectare of land suitable to bio-fuel development. The bio-fuel development sector contributes a great deal for Ethiopia’s economy in two ways. First, it helps, in the long term, we replace the fuel the country imports wherein the country expends large amount of funds. Secondly, it creates employment opportunities for many people. Hence, in six regional states namely Oromia, Tigray, South Ethiopia, Amhara, Benshangul-Gumuz and Somali 2,534,798 hectare of land that will be developed by biodiesel plants (Jatrofa, Caster) have been identified.
According to research conducted by Amhara Agricultural Research Institute, taking four sample Jatrofa seeds from various places, it is confirmed that Me’iso has 34.2 percent oil content and 5.07 ton production per ha and Asosa 37.4 percent oil content and 3.76 ton production per ha, respectively. This indicates that Me’iso is better than Asosa in giving highest production, while Asosa is better than Me’iso for its oil content.   
A biodiesel machine with a processing capacity of 300 liter per day in Bati town of the Amhara region of Oromia zone has been installed by Environmental Protection Authority in cooperation with Amhara Rehabilitation and Development Association, and a machine with processing capacity of 2000 liters per day in Mekele has been installed by Africa Power Initiative. Additionally, a machine installation which has a capacity of processing 3000 liter per day is under way by Atrif Alternative.
With respect to bio ethanol blending, in the ended two and half year period of the GTP, 33.94 million liter of ethanol was produced by Metahara and Fincha Sugar Factory combined, from a plan of 31.88 million liter production. Oil companies operating in the country such as Oil Libya, Nile Petroleum and National Oil Company have blended 34.75 million liter ethanol out of a plan of blending 37 million liter ethanol with benzene. Consequently, more than $26.74 million USD has been saved in the form of foreign currency.
By the end of the GTP period (2015), it is expected the production of ethanol will rise to 181.6 million liter out of which 64.38 million liter is about to be blended with benzene. The rest will be used for domestic purposes such as cooking and other services. 
Alternative Energy Expansion Development
The ministry has so far been exerting efforts to widely use alternative energy technologies to reach out those unreached rural areas of the country, where there is no access to modern energy.  
In the two and half years period of the GTP, 3,368,280 improved bio-mass wood-saver stoves have been distributed out of a plan to distributing 4,015, 000. By the end of the GTP period, it is expected that about 9. 415 million wood-saver stoves will be distributed.
PV installation has also been undergoing for 345 rural health centers and 270 rural schools. The installation has been completed for 189 rural schools. Installation of PV devices is dominantly carried out in rural areas where the need for health centers and schools are quite critical.
Out of the planned performance of distributing 825, 870 solar energy technologies, which can be used by families and social institutions, 493, 622 (60%) were distributed in collaboration with the government and NGOs. Additionally, the purchases of 25 thousand solar home systems has been completed and planned to distribute to regional states. 56 samples of PV home systems have entered into the country from abroad over the past two and half GTP years and the first phase for installation of the systems are finalized. And transportation of the rest PV system from abroad and distribution and installation have been completed.  
Furthermore, 4701 bio-gas plants have been built in four regional states of the country, (Oromia, Amhara, South and Tigray) where the bio-gas program is widely carried out over the past two and half GTP years. The plan for the two and half year of the GTP period was to build 7830 plants.
In the GTP period of the last two and half years, efforts have been exerted to materialize the ministry’s vision towards achieving the GTP and become middle income country in not more than 10 years. The ministry is doing all in its capacity to hit targets set in the GTP. It is therefore overcoming obstacles and problems through discussions with different stakeholders and putting directions that would help solve the problems and foster the realization of the GTP goals. In the remaining two and half years of the GTP period there will be efforts to take lesson and track the strengths of the past two and half years. Similarly, the weaknesses observed will be rectified and efforts will be exerted to reach at the plan set by the ministry.  

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Web site last updated on: March 18, 2014
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