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Botswana is part of:
Africa · Southern Africa ·
Water Basins of Botswana:
Limpopo · Okavango · Orange · Zambezi ·
Facts & Figures edit
Capital Gaborone
Neighbouring Countries Namibia, South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe
Total Area 600,370 km2
  - Water 15,000 km2 (2.50%) / 250 m2/ha
  - Land 585,370 km2
Coastline 0 km
Population 1,764,926 (3.0 inhab./km2)
HDIA 0.664 (2007)
Gini CoefficientA 60.5 (1995)
Nominal GDPB $13,810 million
GDP (PPP) Per CapitaB $15,800
Land UseC
  - Cultivated Land 3,864 km2 (0.66%)
     - Arable 3,805 km2 (0.65%)
     - Permanent Crops 59 km2 (0.01%)
     - Irrigated 10 km2
  - Non cultivated 224,845 km2 (99.34%)
Average Annual RainfallD 416 mm
Renewable Water ResourcesE 14.7 km3
Water WithdrawalsF 0.194 km3/yr
  - For Agricultural Use 41%
  - For Domestic Use 41%
  - For Industrial Use 18%
  - Per Capita 111 m3
Population with safe access to
  - Improved Water Source 95%
     - Urban population 100%
     - Rural population 90%
  - Improved Sanitation 42%
     - Urban population 57%
     - Rural population 25%
References & Remarks
A UNDP Human Development Report
B CIA World Factbook and Wikipedia
C CIA World Factbook Country Profiles
D Aquastat - FAO's Information System on Water and Agriculture
E CIA World Factbook
F Earthtrends

> Articles | Projects & Case studies | Publications & Web resources | Who is who | Maps
> Sector Assessment | Sector Coordination | Donor Profile

Latest 4 maps for / including Botswana (more..):



Country Profile: Climate, Geography, Socio-Economic Context

Country Profile: Water Bodies and Resources

Botswana has low rainfall, high evaporation rates, and is prone to drought, making it one of the most water-scarce countries in southern Africa. The country has five major drainage basins and the Okavango Delta, which has about 6000 square kilometers of permanent swamp and between 7000 and 12,000 square kilometers of seasonal swampland in northwestern part of the country. The Okavango Delta and the Chobe and Linyati rivers, which form the northern border with Namibia, account for 95% of the country’s surface water.

Internal renewable surface water resources are estimated at 0.8 cubic kilometers annually. Groundwater resources, which supply two-thirds of water consumed, are used for domestic watering, livestock, and small areas of irrigation. Dams provide urban water supplies. Human settlements are consuming an increasing percentage of water (41% in 2000), equaling the percentage used for irrigation and livestock. Mining and industrial needs consume the balance. Ninety-seven percent of the population has access to clean drinking water.

Botswana’s susceptibility to drought threatens groundwater levels and river basins and limits the availability of water for human and livestock consumption, agriculture, and industry. Water pollution is an increasing problem: pit latrines and livestock excrement pollute groundwater, and industrial runoff and human settlements pollute surface water.

Country Profile: Legal and Institutional Environment

Legal Framework

The Water Act, 1968, defines water use rights and pollution controls and penalties. The Borehole Act, 1956, governs borehole creation and operations. The Waterworks Act, 1962, governs the establishment of water authorities in townships and their responsibility for supplying water and waterworks (e.g., reservoirs, dams, tanks, pipes, etc.). The National Water Supply and Sanitation Plan, 1999, was created to estimate water demand and availability and the potential for the development of water resources. The Tribal Land Act, 1968, established the authority of Land Boards over water-access on tribal lands.

Under customary law, open water sources are generally available for domestic use by individuals and groups, and water sources are associated with social units, such as families and wards. All tribal members have the right to a site for the purpose of drawing water for consumption by livestock. Once a member has invested labor and money in a borewell, he or she has exclusive rights to it. Customary principles provide that if someone has dire need of water, even those with private use rights must allow access.

Institutional Framework

The Ministry of Minerals, Energy and Water Affairs is responsible for national water policy. Within the Ministry, the Department of Water Affairs and the Water Utilities Corporation are responsible for managing Botswana’s water supply systems. The Ministry of Agriculture and its Irrigation Section holds responsibility for water in the agricultural and livestock sector, and the Ministry of Local Government, Lands and Housing (through District Councils) oversees the water supply to rural villages. Land Boards have authority over water access on tribal lands. The National Conservation Strategy Agency is implementing the country’s national water conservation strategy.

Government Reforms, Interventions and Investments

Botswana’s National Development Plan 10 includes the following strategies to efficiently supply adequate water for domestic, agricultural, and industry purposes: (1) institutional restructuring and policy development to support a plan for Integrated Water Resources Management, eliminate gaps and duplication of effort in the institutional structure, separate policy-making functions for service-delivery activities, strengthen the regulatory regime, and set minimum service standards for consumer protection; (2) development of additional infrastructure projects, including wells and pipelines; (3) development of initiatives designed to conserve water, including upgrading infrastructure to reduce water loss (ROB 2010a).

The government’s Arable Agriculture Development Programme will use treated wastewater from major cities and villages for irrigation as a long-term drought-mitigation strategy and to support development of horticultural production and improve productivity. Over the 2009–2011 period, the government is funding a US $5 million expansion of the pilot Glen Valley Wastewater Project, which provided treated wastewater irrigation to an initial 263 hectares. The follow-on program has the goal of expanding irrigation coverage to an additional 1000 hectares.

Botswana joined Angola and Namibia to form the Okavango River Basin Water Commission to manage the river basin and water resources. The commission launched a water-sharing initiative in 2003 to promote joint fact-finding and a model of shared decision-making relating to the management of the shared resource. Botswana is undertaking the Mid-Zambezi Project (with Zambia and Zimbabwe) in the 2009–2015 period. The US $37.5 million project will address drainage problems arising from the river and provide some irrigation (1000 hectares).

Country Profile: Water Sector Coordination

See Sector coordination sub-page for detailed description

Country Profile: Trends in Water Use, Management and Sanitation

Country Profile: Challenges and Opportunities

Donor Interventions and Investments

USAID has helped fund Botswana’s Sharing Water Initiative (through 2008) and assisted in building capacity and broadening stakeholder participation in the management of water resources. USAID has supported the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and multinational river basin organization to help promote sustainable management of the Okavango/Kubango River Basin.

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is assisting the country in the formulation of an Irrigation Policy and Strategy with the active participation of stakeholders.


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Projects and Case Studies

Projects in or about Botswana

(this is a list of the 15 most recently updated entries. To see all projects click here)

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Case studies in or about Botswana

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5 most recently updated publications on Botswana

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Who is Who

People working in Botswana

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Organizations working in Botswana
  1. Permanent Okavango River Basin Water Commission ‎(1,983 views) . . WikiBot

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See also

External Resources

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