Blog Post


UNU-INWEH has collaborated in the publication of two books presenting the first comprehensive overviews of key issues and challenges facing the vast, vital Ganges and Volta River basins of South Asia and West Africa respectively.

Co-edited by Vladimir Smakhtin, recently-appointed Director of UNU-INWEH, and published by International Water Management Institute (IWMI) and Water Land and Ecosystem Program (WLE) the books are part of a series on River Basins of the World.

“The Ganges River Basin Status and Challenges in Water, Environment and Livelihoods” assesses the status of and trends in surface and groundwater resources development, water quality issues, management of floods and droughts, impacts of looming climate change, threats to biodiversity, livelihood systems, poverty status and migration trends. The book examines social, economic, geopolitical and institutional constraints, including transboundary disputes, to the path of sustainable Basin development (see also More than 500 million people depend directly or indirectly on the health of the Ganges River Basin, which spans China, Nepal, India and Bangladesh.

“The Volta River Basin Water for Food, Economic Growth and Environment”, offers a similarly comprehensive analysis of the Volta, which covers approximately 410,000 km2 across 6 countries: Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Mali and Togo. Its natural resources sustain the livelihoods of its population and contribute to economic development.

A forthcoming book in this series focuses on the Zambezi river basin in southern Africa.

The series of books debuts amid strong and growing global interest in improving the health, freshwater environment and benefits from major river systems as countries unite to reach Sustainable Development Goals of 2030, and to improve global, regional and national water security.