Source to Tap and Back, Ethiopia

Sustainable water management and services in Addis Ababa and Adama

Posted on 6 August 2014


The water supply and water quality of the greater Addis Ababa region is under stress. The occurrence of waterborne diseases and infant mortality in Ethiopia is high. 

Accelerated investments have led to improvement in the water and sanitation sector. However, intermittent supplies and poor-functioning of existing infrastructure is a major challenge and non-revenue water (NRW) may be up to 40%.

An estimated 68% of the “improved” drinking water sources for 4,5 million people do not comply with quality standards.

These problems are mainly caused by

  1. deteriorating water sources resulting from pollution, and
  2. poor operations and quality management in the water production and distribution chain

Through an innovative stakeholder and capacity development approach the project aims to  improve financial and environmental sustainability of water services in the greater Addis Ababa region and Adama.

This project was made possible by the Sustainable Water Fund (FDW).


  1. Stakeholder framework for Integrated water resources protection, monitoring water quality and improved control of waste water discharges
  2. Protection of drinking water reservoirs around Addis Ababa 
  3. Improve water services in Addis Ababa through Water Safety Plans, Water Quality Survey and reducing Non Revenue Water
  4. Improve the water services of Adama through Water Safety Plans and increasing supply of water
  5. Joint Capacity Education and Information center



  • Silt traps in Upper Awash catchment
  • Reduction of NRW by 50% in pilot zones Addis Ababa
  • Water safety planning as integrated part of the water companies
  • Increased water supply Adama by 250m3/h
  • Access to improved water sources for 25,000 people in Adama
  • Improved sanitation for 25,000 people in buffer zones around these reservoirs of Addis Ababa.
  • Platform on Water Resources protection and Water Management
  • Water quality  monitoring system in place
  • 50% reduction of sedimentation in catchment reservoirs around Addis Ababa;
  • Capacity Education and Information center

Project location

Project partners

  • Dutch Water Authorities | Unie van Waterschappen
  • MetaMeta Communications
  • VEI B.V.